1989. USA. Dir: Spike Lee. With Ossie Davis, Danny Aiello. 120 min.
In this panorama of a predominantly Black community in Brooklyn, Lee himself plays a delivery man for an Italian-American pizzeria owner. Entangled in the looming racial tensions (and confrontational shot/reverse shots), he soon finds himself at the center of an escalating conflict on the hottest day of the year.
1992. USA. Dir: Spike Lee. With Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett. 202 min.
The epic adaptation of the activist’s autobiography spans decades, from his birth in Klan-terrorized Omaha to his adopted home of Harlem. Lee masterfully ushers viewers into the most turbulent times of the American twentieth century, celebrating a great leader’s legacy while placing his imperfect humanity in the forefront. Co-programmed with Invisible Men.
2015. USA. Dir: Spike Lee. With Teyonah Paris, Nick Cannon. 127 min.
Lysistrata comes to Chicago’s South Side, as the local women refuse sex in protest against the growing gang violence that plagues their community. Lee’s welcome return to form is bold and dynamic, packed with music, humor, and a who’s-who cast (including Samuel L. Jackson as a one-man Greek chorus) to declare a still-urgent social message. Part of the CFILM Awareness Series.