Where is the conflict?

I just re-watched the first half of Do the Right Thing on Netflix to get it fresh in my head again. What I noticed was a number of differences from other more recent films on Brooklyn. Compared to a film like Brooklyn’s Finest Do the Right Thing employs much less use of “the n word.” This is an interesting shift in the use of this word in pop culture. In today’s rap music and culture, artists make liberal use of “the n word,” however, Spike Lee, despite his Brooklyn upbringing, makes less use of this word in his film.

Additionally, Lee creates a culture of racial divide not necessarily through violent actions between the neighborhood and the employees of Sal’s pizzeria. This tension builds up through discreet conversations between neighborhood residents. Sal’s oldest son seems to be the most volatile towards the African-American community in Bed-Stuy.

What I find to be the most bizzarre part of this film so far is the consistent buildup of tension, but a lack of real conflict to be had. So far, Radio Rakeem appears to be just a big guy with a radio. However, his haunting presence screams conflict. Additionally, Sal appears to be a reasonable person with a large presence in the community, and any actions against him would appear unfounded given the current circumstances.

I am interested to see how the plot unfolds; it’s a very interesting film.


Chris DiBari

This entry was posted in Do the Right Thing by Chris DiBari. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris DiBari

Chris is a student at Brooklyn College and Macaulay Honors College at CUNY. Born in Illiniois, Chris has lived in a number of different places including: Newport, RI, Key West, FL, Chesapeake, VA, Pittsburgh, PA, Warren, NJ, and currently lives in Brooklyn. He is living in the dorms, but soon hopes to leave and move to a different part of Brooklyn. Chris is undecided in his major, but has passions in the social sciences, and next semester hopes to take a few more history classes. Chris is currently pursuing his goal of becoming a United States Marine Corps officer through the Platoon Leader's Class option and applying to the United States Naval Academy.