“Heavenly Light” starred Chadwick Bozeman in “Da 5 Bloods”: NPR


Spike Lee (left) consults with actors Clark Peters, Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, and Norm Lewis on set Da 5 blood.

David Lee / Netflix

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David Lee / Netflix

Spike Lee (left) consults with actors Clark Peters, Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, and Norm Lewis on set Da 5 blood.

David Lee / Netflix

Spike Lee has spent the past four decades making movies that force America to confront its history. His latest movies, Da 5 blood, Which was released last year on Netflix, focuses on veterans who served in the Vietnam War. In the initial script, the majority of the characters were white, but Lee and its writer Kevin Wilmot rewrote them as Black Soldiers.

“The truth is, for most of the films on Vietnam, the black experience was not part of the story,” Lee says. “When we got the script from the producer … Kevin and I automatically knew what we had to do … that would give [us] The opportunity to tell the story of the black effort, the “bloodsuckers”, who fought and died in Vietnam. “

A heist equal parts movie and history lesson, Da 5 blood Late actor Chadwick Bosman appears in his penultimate film. Lee says that one scene at the end of the film, in which Bosman is absorbed in the light of the other world, gained special resonance after the actor died of cancer in August 2020.

“My wife and I, Tonya, watched Da 5 blood The next day after we heard the news [of Boseman’s death]. And seeing that last scene … it took something extra, “he says. That light was not man-made, it was a heavenly light that was shining despite the trees in the woods on our brother Chadwick. “

Interview highlights

On working with Boseman Da 5 bloodNot realizing that Bozeman was fighting cancer at the time

I understand that he doesn’t want to be treated differently than any of the actors. … the first battle sequence, he has to run, like 100 yards, and you tell him to run like Usain Bolt. If I knew he was sick, I wouldn’t ask him to. Thats why he didn’t tell me. He didn’t want to wear any shorts.

About a decision to make a veteran in the movie a Trump supporter

As a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, New York, my late mother, Jacqueline Lee, always told me, “Spiky, all blacks are not like them, they think alike, they behave alike. Black people are not one homogeneous group.” This always stuck with me. So if I had this group of guys, they couldn’t all be cuddly. So it was very easy to think of the one thing that would be more combustible that would be for Paul’s character to be Trump-et. And one more thing [in the film] What people don’t get is that a lot of people wear that hat, the Paul Hat [MAGA] Hat. It does not end up.

About the origin of “Hanoi Hanna”, a Vietnamese radio station that was broadcasting anti-war propaganda targeting US forces

She played famous American music, rock and roll, soul, and in between songs, she was given a script to read. And while some people might say it was propaganda, a lot of the things she said were not a lie. You know, you say, why die for a country that doesn’t love you? Lots of black soldiers, that’s how they heard, about the MLK assassination two or three days later. So they found out. And she used that, saying, “Don’t you know that your sisters and brothers are rioting, burning more than 100 cities in America and being killed by the police?”

Earlier in his career when he was attending meetings in Hollywood and white studio directors would fetch blacks from the mailroom so there were other black people in the room.

White executives thought I was cheated, but there was a look between me and the brothers who had come from the mailroom. I knew what was happening. They knew I knew. … and we both understood, you know, what the game was. And after you left the office, you know they sent their black butts into the mailroom. …

[On] My mother’s grave, [it] It happened more than once. They brought in some blacks from the mailroom. I smelled it a mile away. And I played with it.

Anne Marie Baldonado Kayla Latimore produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper, and Beth Novey have adapted it for the web.

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