On Sunday, acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee released a new short film titled 3 Brothers – Radio Raheem, Eric Garner, And George Floyd in response to the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd and ongoing police brutality.
The short is a compilation of the climactic scene from Lee’s 1989 film Do The Right Thing, where it shows the fictional character Radio Raheem, played by the late Bill Nunn, being strangled to death by white police officers, as well as real-life devastating footage of the deaths of Eric Garner and George Floyd. Both men died in in similar circumstances: being violently restrained by white police officers on the street.
Lee premiered the short film during his appearance CNN’s special I Can’t Breath: Black Men Living and Dying In America, anchored by Don Lemon. The film opens with the question, Will History Stop Repeating Itself?
Wearing a shirt that says 1619, the year deemed as the beginning of slavery in America, Lee addressed the escalating protests across the country, asking “How can people not understand why people are acting the way they are? This is not new, we saw with the riots in the ’60s, the assassination of Dr. King, every time something jumps off and we don’t get our justice, people are reacting they way they do to be heard. We are seeing this again and again and again. This is the thing: the killing of black bodies, that is what this country is built upon.”
He also adds , “this is history again, and again and again…The attack on black bodies has been here from the get-go. I am not condoning all this other stuff but I understand why people are doing what they are doing.”
Here is the CNN interview posted on Twitter:
"The attack on black bodies has been here from the get-go," says filmmaker Spike Lee, responding to protests over George Floyd's death. "…I am not condoning all this other stuff but I understand why people are doing what they are doing." https://t.co/K5Gzn1gRT0 pic.twitter.com/sxnZJ9xRpi
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) June 1, 2020
3 Brothers is the second current events-inspired short film Lee has released over the last month. At the beginning of May, Lee had debuted a short film love letter to New York City in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Next will be the June 12 premiere of Lee’s upcoming Vietnam War drama film Da 5 Bloods starring Chadwick Boseman and Jonathan Majors that is heading straight to Netflix.
Lee also took to Twitter to release 3 Brothers — Radio Raheem, Eric Garner And George Floyd. Watch the video below (sensitive content).
3 Brothers-Radio Raheem, Eric Garner And George Floyd. pic.twitter.com/EB0cXQELzE
— Spike Lee (@SpikeLeeJoint) June 1, 2020