23 February, 2011. How are different races/ethnicities constructed in the film? What cues/signals does Lee use to construct them? The film Do the Right Thing directed, authored and performed by Spike Lee is fundamentally about racism and issues of ethnicity…
Lee could have named the owners without having mentioned their race as white, but the sole purpose behind doing so was to build the audience’s understanding of the plot as racism oriented. Where Sal and his sons have been presented as owners because they are white, Mookie has been presented as the delivery boy, fundamentally for the reason that he is an African American. This tells that this film particularly differentiates between people and decides their status on the basis of their race. White owners and black delivery boy are the signals that have been used by Lee to construct the racist mood. In the beginning, the movie maintains a low profile with light entertainment and jolly mood. Characters in the start are quite amusing. But as some time passes, the film suddenly gains an upsurge until the tension between individual characters reaches its apogee. The conflict between races and ethnic identities overtly shows up in the form of hatred among characters belonging to different races. The tension in the film’s climax is unbearable. A deep analysis of the film suggests that Lee has, for the most part of the movie, not discussed characters, as much has he done the relationships between them and their interpersonal conflicts. ...
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