Spike Lee isn’t letting the coronavirus keep him from staying busy. If all things had remained normal, he’d be leading the jury at Cannes right now, but instead he’s home and completing short films on his beloved New York City, and preparing for the release of his upcoming war movie, Da 5 Bloods.
While there have been set photos floating around for a while, Lee has dropped the first official images from Da 5 Bloods. The Netflix film stars Chadwick Boseman, Delroy Lindo, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Paul Walter Hauser, Jean Reno, and Melanie Thierry, telling the story of black Vietnam War vets who return to the country years later to find the remains of their fallen squad leader, and possibly buried treasure.
Speaking with Vanity Fair, Lee talked about the film and how he sees it as highlighting the patriotism black people are rarely shown to have. He also sees it as a message against Trump, who he refers to as “Agent Orange”…
“We’ve always believed in this country. That is why we fought for this country, even knowing we were slaves, in the Civil War. That is the reason why I show Milton Olive III, 18 years old, the first African American to be awarded the Purple Heart in Vietnam. That’s why I show Crispus Attucks, the first American, not just a black person, the first American to die for the United States in the American Revolutionary War at The Boston Massacre.”
“That’s why when Agent Orange talks about, ‘If you don’t like America you can leave…’ Fuck that! We built this motherfucker! I mean, we’ve been nothing but patriotic! And this great, great country has not really made its promise yet to people of color.”
He does make clear that one of the characters, played by Lindo, is a supporter of the current occupant of the White House.
“It’s something that my mother taught me very early on,” he said. “She’d say, ‘Spike, all Black people ain’t the same. All Black people don’t look alike, or think alike.’ So we’ve got this group, and I had to show some type of diversity amongst these African American men. They can’t be all alike—that’s not only stupid, it’s not dramatic. […] And there are a small minority of Black folks who drank the orange Kool-Aid. To make him more dramatic, Paul is a MAGA-hat-wearing motherfucker.”
Da 5 Bloods hits Netflix on June 12th.