It’s been 30 years since Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing made its theatrical debut, which would go on to ignite national conversations about the state of race relations in a heated United States. In honor of its upcoming anniversary, the Terrace Theatre will be playing the 1989 film for one night only on June 30. You can buy tickets online.
For those unfamiliar with the flick, Do The Right Thing takes place in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, on the hottest day of the summer. Viewers get to meet and witness all the vivid characters in the neighborhood through the eyes of Mookie (Lee), a young pizza delivery boy who works for Sal’s Pizzeria, owned by a local Italian family.
The film’s main conflict begins when Mookie’s friend, Buggin-Out (Giancarlo Esposito), questions Sal (Danny Aiello) about why there are no black people on the pizzeria’s “Wall of Fame."
As the day gets hotter, tensions eventually boil over to a violent confrontation at the climax of the film. The end of the film presents the audience with two quotes from civil rights figures Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, leaving audiences wondering what it truly means to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, the 30-year-old film’s themes of racism, police brutality, and blinding hatred are still all too relevant in a 2019 setting.
The film was nominated for two Academy Awards; Best Original Screenplay for Spike Lee and Best Supporting Actor for Danny Aiello as Sal. The film’s legacy has stood the test of time, turning its lead actor and director into one of our generation's most well-known directors. Spike Lee has gone on to direct other films such as Malcolm X, She’s Gotta Have It, Crooklyn, and most recently, Blackkklansman.