Making a film about black soldiers in the Vietnam War is always relevant as there isn’t as much spotlight on them as it is their white counterparts, but Spike Lee’s latest joint, Da 5 Bloods is even more timely than any of us could’ve imagined.
Here’s what’s going down in the film, per Netflix’s press release:
From Academy Award Winner Spike Lee comes a New Joint: the story of four African American Vets — Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) — who return to Vietnam. Searching for the remains of their fallen Squad Leader (Chadwick Boseman) and the promise of buried treasure, our heroes, joined by Paul’s concerned son (Jonathan Majors), battle forces of Man and Nature — while confronted by the lasting ravages of The Immorality of The Vietnam War.
Lindo, who gives a particularly standout performance in a film, portrays Paul who is a black MAGA supporter with PTSD. Levels.
“Even though these guys have formed a brotherhood—and you really can’t get a stronger brotherhood than being in war with somebody, when you’re side-by-side and you depend on each other to lift, that’s a bond,” Lee exclaimed. “But, at the same time, they all can’t think alike! So, [co-writer] Kevin Wilmott and I came up with the most extreme thing that we could give to a character. And what we came up with in the film is he’s a supporter of Agent Orange. He drank the orange Kool-Aid. And it’s so sad that brother is smilin’ and grinnin’ and he doesn’t even know how he’s being used.”
We all know who Agent Orange is. While we shared a laugh over the name, Lee confirmed he borrowed his favorite nickname for President Donald Trump from Busta Rhymes.
“I hope so,” Lee mused, noting that the war against black folks started in 1619 (shout-out to his ever-present cap). “That’s what people are marching for all across America. Black lives really matter. If Black lives mattered, people wouldn’t be marching. No disrespect to anyone who’s lost somebody, but I just can’t keep up! It doesn’t stop!”
Check out the video below as Lee talks about the importance of black women’s stories and what the revolution looks like to him.
Da 5 Bloods drops on Netflix on June 12.