In the Civil War, 186,000 blacks joined the military, we were promised freedom and we didn't get it. In WWII, 850,000 blacks fought, and were promised freedom, and we couldn't. Now, with the Vietnam War, there is still nothing but police brutality and so on. "
Bobby Seale , an American activist who is also the founder of the organization Black Panther Party , said that in 1968 and appeared at the opening of Da 5 Bloods which shows a collection of videos from the past showing several important figures in upholding justice for blacks talking about quite a history. long about black citizens who continue to be involved in war.
Black Lives Matters , something we hear a lot about today, is a movement proclaiming the enforcement of justice for black people. We realize they haven't got that justice yet, the United States does, and Spike Lee realizes that too. The films he has made, from Malcolm X to BlacKkKlansman (one of the best films of 2018, in my opinion) are an important work on the lives of black people.
With his latest film released on Netflix, Spike Lee has the opportunity to cram his film-making skills with the theme of the Vietnam War. This is indeed a war film, but interestingly, it does not focus on the war, but we as the audience are more focused on each character, and that is what makes Da 5 Bloods feel more intimate and more personal.
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In this film, we are not told during the Vietnam War, but when the film is set in the present era where a group of former United States soldiers are reuniting in Vietnam. The four of them meet to find back the treasure they had hidden as well as to find the body of their team leader who first lost his life during the war.
Paul ( Delroy Lindo ), Otis ( Clarke Peters ), Eddie ( Norm Lewis ) and Melvin ( Isiah Whitlock Jr. ), the four aging soldiers, are together for the first time in years. They still get along, they still memorize their signature long greeting, and they still call each other “Blood” which means one blood.
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Returning to Vietnam meant that they had to come back to remember what they had been through in this foreign land. They are not only trying to dig up buried treasure, they are also digging up their past. And of these four soldiers, Paul - who is wearing the "Make America Great Again" hat and accompanied by his son, David ( Jonathan Majors ) - is the best character.
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I can say that Delroy Lindo has given me one of the most brilliant acts I have seen this year. Paul's personality is always haunted by the death of Norman ( Chadwick Boseman ), the leader of their team, making him paranoid and suffering from PTSD ( Posttraumatic stress disorder ). Here, he plays Paul with a bang and bang but also has an emotional side in the middle.
One scene at the end of the film, in which he gives a monologue to the audience directly and destroyed the fourth wall ( fourth wall ) , perhaps it is one part that keeps ringing in my head long after the movie is over. How does he declare that he will determine his fate, not war or the government and closes with a fist in the air as the camera slowly shows a fist.
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Norman is one of the reasons why Paul is such a disturbed personality. While still in the Vietnam War, he was not only a squad leader for these four soldiers but also a living role model. "He was like Malcolm (X) and Martin (Luther King Jr.) to us," recalled Otis. But Paul thinks Norman is more than that. He already considered Norman as a religion, so his death bothered him deeply even long after the war was over.
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Seeing the four seeing Norman as a role model is heartbreaking. Of all the figures they had met in their lives, it was a squad leader of soldiers who taught them a lesson in the then unpopular black history. From one war, they just met someone who “gave them things to believe in. A direction. A goal, ”Otis said.
In this film, Spike Lee subtly tries to criticize how Hollywood makes war films through the dialogue of its characters. "Hollywood freaks trying to win the Vietnam War," Eddie said as they were talking about the Rambo film , referring to the fact that America actually lost the war. What Otis replied next is also something that is interesting to observe.
"Yeah, I'll be in line first if there's a film about real heroes, like one of our friends, Milton Olive." Milton Lee Olive is a young black soldier who died by sacrificing himself protecting his friends from a grenade, and he was just 18 years old. Hollywood loves to make white people stand out while rarely appreciating real black heroes, and this is one of the criticisms in Da 5 Bloods .
If this film is considered to make the audience uncomfortable, then that is the goal. Using photos and original footage from the Vietnam War showing lying bodies (even women and children) to an execution video, Spike Lee wanted to remind him of how bad a war is. It can also be used as an anti-war film, with a very clear message across every scene.
The use of real photos is indeed an interesting part of this film. Each character mentions a person who is black, from soldier Milton Olive to singer Aretha Franklin, an original photo of them appearing full-size on screen, reminding us that the people they mention are real people, not fabrications or artificial people.
Not only is this film very successful in terms of story, but also from a technical point of view it also stands out surprisingly. With a duration of up to 150 minutes, Da 5 Bloods tells its story by hopping, visiting the past and the present. Newton Thomas Sigel, who as a cinematographer, cleverly played the aspect ratio when the times changed. If it was in the past, the aspect ratio becomes a temporary box if the present is wide.
With this film, Spike Lee has created a work that the world might need. At a time when controversy over black justice is raging around the world, Da 5 Bloods is a powerful film with a very profound message, and is definitely one of its finest. With this film he said that black life means something.
- First published in 2011, The Devil All the Time has received much praise from critics. In fact, the novel, which became the debut of American