Do the Right Thing Screening at TIFF Bell Lightbox Featuring Spike Lee

Brooklyn is in the building

Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee is coming to TIFF Bell Lightbox tomorrow night to screen his signature film, Do the Right Thing.

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of Lee’s Bed-Stuy classic. And to celebrate the event, the Lightbox will screen a brand new 4K digital restoration of the movie. The event will be hosted by TIFF’s Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey, who will conduct a Q&A with the cinematic legend.

Here is an excerpt from TIFF’s press release:

For this special event, TIFF worked with the Ontario Film Review Board (OFRB) to have the film re-rated to a 14A, better aligning it with contemporary rating standards and enabling a new generation to see and celebrate the film.

If you love film, Do the Right Thing is an essential watch. It’s 1989 debut rocked Hollywood like an atomic blast. Lee’s razor-sharp social critique cuts through antiquated notions of the American dream with lethal dexterity. The movie tells us that America is less of a melting pot than a smouldering volcano. And, instead of lava, it spews generations of bad blood.


Critics feared this movie, going as far as to claim Do the Right Thing’s public screenings would incite riots. But what they really feared, was the film’s hard-hitting themes. As much as people tried, they couldn’t tune out Lee’s message. The movie is like Radio Raheem’s boom box, and Lee’s haters were Sal and Pino with their hands covering their ears, getting rocked by the devastating bass.


Do the Right Thing synopsis:

On the hottest day of the summer in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, pizza-delivery guy Mookie (Spike Lee) makes his rounds while navigating the racially charged tensions that inform every daily interaction in the neighbourhood. When local firebrand Buggin’ Out (Giancarlo Esposito) starts an argument with Mookie’s Italian employer Sal (Danny Aiello), the community’s delicate balance threatens to tip over into chaos.

Released at the end of a decade that had seen ever-deepening divisions between races and cultures, writer-director-star Lee’s angry and artful cinematic rallying cry is as potent, relevant, and important now as it was in 1989. (It also bequeathed the world perhaps the greatest rap song in history, Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” commissioned by Lee specifically for the film.) “I have been given only a few filmgoing experiences in my life to equal the first time I saw Do the Right Thing…. [Lee] didn’t draw lines or take sides, but simply looked with sadness at one racial flashpoint that stood for many others” (Roger Ebert).

Do the Right Thing screens at TIFF Bell Lightbox with Spike Lee in attendance on July 19. There will also be a July 20 screening which that includes a special introductory featurette, followed by a video presentation of Spike Lee’s Q&A from the July 19 event.


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