Spike Lee has made a career out of telling it like it is. His latest film, the story of a black detective who went undercover with the KKK, finds the director in unrepentant mood. Here he talks ‘wokeness’, vindication and America today.
Spike Lee has heard all his film-making life that he is preoccupied with race. Sometimes the criticism has not come from obvious voices. Back in 2000 , when Lee suggested that a lot of African American comedy and music – including gangsta rap – was not far removed from minstrel shows, the actor Jamie Foxx observed: “I think it’s getting to the point where nobody cares, because he talks about it so much that now he’s just become the angry guy, the angry black man.”
For a long time, Lee has been proposing an idea of America – that its stories should be told in the context of its violently racist past – that not everyone wanted to hear. In the present political moment, however, with the president that he calls Agent Orange in the White House, he is, ...
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