In an interview with DW winner of the “Oscar”, the famous actor, Director, screenwriter and producer spike Lee shares his thoughts about the new surge of violence against African Americans.
Interview with American actor, Director, screenwriter and producer, winner of an Oscar, a BAFTA, an Emmy and the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival spike Lee on 8 June 2020 using Zoom. Spike Lee was at home in Brooklyn. DW reporter Scott Roxborough in Cologne. The actual reason for the interview was the release of the new spike Lee film. Military drama “Da Bloods 5” (“Five of the same blood”) can be viewed on Netflix since June 12.
DW: There are a lot of what I would like to talk, but very little time. I want to talk about your new film “Five one blood”. But first – about George Floyd. Another unarmed African American killed during the arrest by American police…
Spike Lee: we saw it on video!
And this is exactly what I wanted to ask you. What was your first reaction when you saw the video?
– I thought I’ve seen this before. The case of Eric Garner (killed by police during the arrest on 17 July 2014 – approx. ed.). I rented this film. “Do right!” 1989 based on the true story of graffiti artist Michael Stewart, who died in the result of strangulation (the incident occurred on 15 September 1983года – approx. ed.). And then I started thinking about all the other deaths of African Americans. The victims not only in result of application of suffocating receptions. All those who were shot…
– Violence against African Americans continues for decades and centuries. What, in your opinion, you need to make it not repeated again and again?
– We are already beginning to do here in America. The Americans, not only blacks and dark-skinned, but white, my brothers and sisters with white skin, take to the streets and join us, shoulder to shoulder, saying this has to stop. And in police departments across America sounds the call for change at the national level. They have to do something, there is a long overdue reform. Changes must occur in how the police operate in the United States of America.
– To what extent do you blame for what is happening in those who are at the top of the pyramid of state power? President trump, whom you call “Agent orange”?
– Why did you call him instead of me?! Kidding! I know you want me to hear it. “Agent orange” will be the worst President in US history. And now funny to see how his allies, all these generals and politicians, slowly begin to move from it, because they see that people write on walls and do not want to go down in history with this person. They don’t want to be on the wrong side. Wrong with a capital “N”.
The story, of course, is a big part of your new movie “Five one blood”. Why did you decide to tell the story of African American soldiers in Vietnam?
Movies with African-American soldiers have been, and how films about the Vietnam war. And I pay tribute to my favorite movie “Apocalypse now.” Lawrence Fishburne was 14 years old when he starred in this movie! But I just wanted to tell the stories of those guys.
African Americans fought in every war that involved the United States…
– The first dead American (the Boston massacre of 1770 approx. ed.) was an African American named Crispus of Attacks!
You show it in your films. But the Hollywood war pictures African Americans usually remain behind the scenes. How do you think this means for Americans in the context of understanding their own history?
– They don’t know the truth. But much starts with education level. At school me and many other children also say that George Washington never told a lie. The first American President cut down the cherry tree (a popular legend about the childhood of George Washington – approx. ed) and admitted it. We never said that George Washington, the first President of America, 123 slave. They lowered it! Consciously!
– Completed the 31 years since then, how come your movie is “Do right!”, and we see the same thing happening again on the streets… is There still hope for the future?
– I have hope for the millions of Americans who now take to the streets. The hope is that they say: “Enough, there is a limit!” And even higher expectations I associate with November 4: this will be the next day after the presidential election in the United States.