The American Film Institute announced today that AFI Movie Club would be offering free rentals of the 1989 classic hit film, Do the Right Thing, in partnership with Universal Pictures. They will also be hosting an online conversation with Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee.
Do the Right Thing could not be more relevant to the current moment, as its story deals with police violence and racism in a predominately African-American community, culminating on the hottest day of the summer when tensions run high. Lee was inspired to create Do the Right Thing, which he wrote, directed and produced, by the 1986 Howard Beach racial incident, in which an African American man was murdered. He was also inspired by the shooting by police of Eleanor Bumpurs, an elderly African-American woman. When it first came out, the film was seen as highly controversial and some media questioned if it might incite violence. It is essential viewing, now more than ever, as part of the urgency of this moment of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The provocative film cannot help but elicit reflection, discussion and debate.
AFI Film Club is a newly launched program created by the non-profit organization that hopes to bring viewers together during this period of isolation. Each day, a different classic film is played, and a special celebrity guest will announce the daily selection. Each film is also accompanied by bonus materials and discussion points to enrich the viewing experience for all watching at home.
The Spike Lee Joint can be rented between June 22nd and June 29th, for free on Amazon, Apple, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Dish, DirecTV, FandangoNOW, Google, Microsoft, Redbox, Sony, Verizon and Vudu. The interview with Lee will be a live discussion on June 25th at 8 p.m. EDT and can be viewed on the AFI YouTube channel.