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Da 5 Bloods. 2020. USA. Directed by Spike Lee. With Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., Chadwick Boseman. 155 min.
Do the Right Thing ’s Bed-Stuy residents tuned their radios to the soothing sounds of Mister Señor Love Daddy. When Da 5 Bloods were serving in Vietnam, they had Hanoi Hannah, delivering news of unrest in the USA and song dedications to Black GIs, “Nothing is more confused than to be ordered into a war to die, or to be maimed for life, without the faintest idea what’s going on.” When four of the eponymous 5 Bloods reunite in a hotel lobby in present-day Ho Chi Minh City for the first time since the war, holding frozen cocktails and sporting their finest vacation wear, they’re there not only to reconnect, but to locate a fortune in gold they hid during their tour of duty. But their seemingly simple goal becomes labyrinthine as they contend with grudges, greed, and the rights of native Vietnamese. Thanks to Spike Lee’s inspired direction, this incisive look at the lived trauma of African American Vietnam veterans manages to balance reflections on the everlasting injustices of the United States’ systemic racism and the military industrial complex by finding not only levity but humor in coping. Courtesy of Netflix
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