Fight The Power By Spike Lee

2248 WordsMay 23, 20169 Pages
While twenty-nine years has passed since its release, Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do The Right Thing remains a tragically relevant tale of race relations, heated confrontations, and police violence. As the sweltering summer heat rises in the black Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, racial tensions escalate between the locals and the Italian-Americans. Characters sweat and scream, fight and fend, dance and die. On screen, Spike Lee depicts a 1989 Brooklyn that acts as a magnified view of what was happening politically and socially outside the theater. Coupled with Public Enemy’s 1989 hit “Fight the Power,” Do The Right Thing acts as a artistic acknowledgment of the various forces that oppressed minority groups in the 1980’s. Spike Lee uses “Fight the Power” as a musical leitmotif to bring attention a theme of racial tension and power imbalances within society. The leitmotif becomes the film’s theme song, intensifying moments of conflict and narrating dialogue-free scenes to explore abuses of power. Public Enemy, an American hip-hop group featuring the rappers Chuck D and Flavor Flav, released “Fight the Power” in 1989. Director Spike Lee had personally asked the group to create a song for Do the Right Thing, requesting a ballad that would add a voice of resistance to the film. In a 1990’s article for Times magazine, Lee reveals of his theme song request, “I wanted it to be defiant, I wanted it to be angry, I wanted it to be very rhythmic. I thought right away of Public

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