“My people, my people, what can I say, say what I can. I saw it but didn’t believe it, I didn’t believe what I saw. Are we gonna live together, together are we gonna live?”

Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing celebrates its 23rd anniversary this summer and it still packs a wallop. Lee’s examination of the racial divide in America is as relevant today as its ever been before. The first time I saw it I felt something I hadn’t felt in years, a movie of such relevance, poignancy and incendiary truth- I was stunned, scared, shaken. Radio Raheem still lingers in my head, so does Mookie throwing a garbage can at Sal’s Pizzeria, Buggin Out with his infamous boycott and Pino’s in your face racism. When it first came out people were expecting riots and anarchy but instead we got conversation and reasoning- the essence of what art can do. I got the criterion edition a few years ago but the new Blu-Ray edition supposedly blows that one out of the ball park- the image is crisper and the sound is top notch. It’s still -along with David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull- a landmark movie of the 1980’s.

So after all this praise on my part, it is still a real shock to realize that Do The Right Thing – a movie of unequivocal importance then and now- did not get nominated for Best Picture of 1989. Instead we got a safe, predictable portrait of Racism in “Driving Miss Daisy” winning Best Picture. The four other nominees were better; Peter Weir’s involving ”Dead Poets Society”, Oliver Stone’s “Born On The Fourth Of July”, Jim Sheridan’s “My Left Foot” and the corny “Field Of Dreams”. I’d replace the Costner movie with Woody Allen’s daring “Crimes And Misdemeanors” and of course the artificial “Driving Miss Daisy” with “Do The Right Thing”. Lee’s movie not only aged better than any of the above mentioned but created conversation in the public eye. Hell, even President Obama and First Lady Michelle went to see “Do The Right Thing” on their first date !

Lee’s film opens with Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power” playing as Rosie Perez’s Tina breakdances through the credits. Once that is done we enter a neighborhood like no other. The story is told on one hot summer day, the hottest of the year in fact, in a New York City alive with racism, confusion and corrupt cops. Radio Raheem- one of the film’s many colorful characters- has one hand tattooed with the word Love and the other with the word Hate, a perfect description of the film. Lee knew very well of the struggle that America was going through-and still does- with racism and bigotry. He explored it through characters that had resentment in their blood.

Lee created more than a dozen memorable characters for “Do The Right Thing”, all well sketched out and imperfect in their actions and thoughts. There isn’t really a single heroic figure in the bunch. Mookie, the character that we think is heroic, ends up starting the riot in the film’s blistering finale by throwing a garbage can through the window of Sal’s Pizzeria. Did he do the right thing? It’s left for discussion and after close to 2 decades there are still mixed thoughts Mookie’s actions. What I do know is that Lee did it on purpose, he wanted to create conversation and make a film that would impact our lives. Job well done.

Not everyone took it that way. Reviewers feared that Lee’s film would incite black audiences to riot. No such riots occurred and Lee criticized “white reviewers for implying that black audiences were incapable of restraining themselves while watching a fictional motion picture.” He had a point. The fact that Americans thought black people would riot is the exact reason why Lee made the film in the first place, to show the divide and confusion that reigned in America at the time.

To call Lee’s film a game changer wouldn’t do it much justice It brought impact to a society that needed to be shaken and got audiences asking questions that not only had to do with the movie but had to do with their own ideals. We live in a time when most movies don’t have the balls to create such ambitious, daring work. Lee’s film reminds us of the power that art can have on society as a whole and the whiplash that comes with watching such a visionary creation. He never made a better movie than “Do The Right Thing”, only his second film, not many have since.

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  • JL

    ‘Do the Right Thing’ is one of the most important films ever made, and it seems lately that more people are starting to recognize its impact. I believe it was also shown in Central Park lately, and I know of a few universities who are screening it for the campus to pay homage to the film’s significance. Perhaps as we shape up for another election year we can’t help but be reminded of Spike’s greatest triumph.

    However, I wish the article did a little more than summarize the film and say things that I’m sure most of the readers of this site already knew. Since it was a guest post, I was hoping for a new insight or a more in-depth discussion.

  • Yep, this is very obviously the 1989 choice. I like that you threw Crimes And Misdemeanors in there as well.

    Do The Right Thing
    Dead Poets Society
    My Left Foot
    Born On The 4th Of July
    Crimes And Misdemeanors

    That would have been a great list, albeit a really fucking heavy one.

  • Jordan Ruimy

    @ Chris

    a heavy list, but one hell of a list of nominees. To think, “Driving Miss Daisy” won Best Picture that year … unbelievable.

  • rufussondheim

    My top Oscar Eligible Films of 1989. The Dekalogue would be on this list, but, alas, it wouldn’t be eligible.

    1) Field of Dreams – It’s not deep or complex or insightful in any way that’s important. But, my God! a film has to be great if it can make me cry that hard EVERY time I watch it.

    2) sex, lies and videotape – It’s been years since I’ve seen it, but even back then it got credited with a resurgence in independant film that lives on until this day. And with good reason, Hollywood wasn’t putting out anything like it, you had to go to the output of other countries to find something like it. But it’s not listed here for that reason, it’s listed here because it’s a great little drawing room melodrama with four astutely created characters. It’s just plain great.

    3) Glory – A well-made historical drama that puts such winners as Gladiator and Braveheart to shame. Definitely worth a nomination, but probably the least deserving of the five.

    4) The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover – One of the great contemporary metaphorical films. Yeah, I know, it’s a shocking little film of nudity violence and cannibalism, but it’s Greenaway’s ideas on post-colonialism that’s the true draw here.

    5) Crimes and Misdemeanors – I think it’s Woody Allen’s best film. Loved the justaposition of the two opposing stories. If I had a vote, I probably would have put this as #1 on my ballot.

  • @ Jordan

    Yeah, your column made me think about that. I went off on a tangent just now about Best Picture winners that arguably didn’t even deserve to be nominated. Obviously I’d say this is one of them. Here are the ones I came up with:

    A Beautiful Mind
    Shakespeare In Love

  • steve50

    Two from that year as yet unmentioned:

    The Grifters had great performances, Huston should have taken Best Actress and Bening Best Support, with a nom for Cusack.

    And for good old fashioned family fun – War of the Roses. Peeing in the soup and Kathleen Turner at her bitchy best.

    Why don’t they make movies like those, about normal families, anymore?

  • thespirithunter

    I like the way this series is going, and I hate to nitpick, but Do The Right Thing was Lee’s THIRD film, after She’s Gotta Have It and School Daze.

    Also in the previous commenter’s post, The Grifters was released at the tail end of 1990, so it wouldn’t be eligible for this post.

    That said. Do the Right Thing is hands down to choice, as already stated. I would also throw in:

    War Of The Roses
    Say Anything
    Casualties Of War
    When Harry Met Sally
    Lethal Weapon 2
    Jesus Of Montreal

  • JS

    I still support Daisy’s nomination – it’s a very well crafted film with a good script and a couple of wonderful performances. Dead Poets Society and Field of Dreams are okay choices, but neither is particularly great in any way. Born on the Fourth of July is beautifully made but SO heavy handed. Of these five the best is clearly My Left Foot.

    But you’re right – while I find it more and more contrived each time I see it, Do the Right Thing is a great movie that should have been nominated for Best Picture.

  • Do the Right Thing, for me, still holds up tremendously well. I just watched it recently, and along with everything else, it’s amazing how well it’s structured as a movie, despite the fact there doesn’t seem to be any “story”, or at least not in a conventional sense. And the proof of that is the explosion of the final act; it may seem, on paper, to have come out of nowhere, but Lee has set it up, showing the anger simmering under the surface, as well as the way the heat has inflamed that anger and passion (it goes without saying the movie wouldn’t work nearly as well if it was made any other time of year, or it would have to be reworked; there’s something about the heat of the city that is particular to this type of story). There’s also the way Senor Love Daddy, Samuel L. Jackson’s DJ, serves as a Greek chorus to the action (some critics suggested it was the three men – played by Paul Benjamin, Frankie Faison and the late Robin Harris – sitting outside and making snarky remarks who were the chorus, but I think Senor Love Daddy is closer to that role), the photography by Ernest Dickerson and editing by Barry Alexander Brown that also bring out the passion and anger, and the performances, particularly by Danny Aiello as Sal. Finally, Lee sometimes has a problem with ending his films (School Daze and Jungle Fever come to mind), but the ending here, with the two quotes from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, is perfect.

    And yes, it goes without saying it’s a much better film than Driving Miss Daisy, which I also found safe and predictable. Truth to tell, though, I find the Best Picture lineup that year to be relatively weak anyway. Born on the Fourth of July and Dead Poets Society both have their virtues (great and unexpected leading performances, for one), but, for me, they both run aground in the last third. Field of Dreams and My Left Foot are much better, but the for the former, I wish the father-son story, which I do think was done in a somewhat corny manner – and I say that as someone with a difficult relationship with his own father – hadn’t taken precedence over the Shoeless Joe Jackson story (the balance was better in W.P. Kinsella’s novel), and for the latter, while I liked it a lot, it’s missing that certain intangible something that turns good into great. Maybe if I see it again. And I know some people think Crimes & Misdemeanors is better than any of those movies, but for me, Allen does tend to overdo the symbolism in this movie (the blind rabbi who nevertheless “sees” better than anyone else in the film), even though I do agree it’s a good movie, with one of Alan Alda’s best performances.

    My top 10 for that year:

    Do the Right Thing
    Sex, Lies and Videotape
    Say Anything
    Jesus of Montreal
    Cinema Paradiso
    Drugstore Cowboy
    When Harry Met Sally
    The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
    Miss Firecracker
    Black Rain (the Imamura film, not the Ridley Scott film)

  • Jeremy

    Do The Right Thing is one of my all-time favorite films, and the lack of a BP nomination confuses me to this day.

    I don’t think anyone mentioned Henry V, Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of my favorite play from The Bard of Avon. This is definitely my favorite Shakespeare film, and I do prefer it to the also-outstanding Laurence Oliver version, which always reminded us that it was a play that happened to be filmed. Branagah’s Henry V embraces everything about being a movie, with all it’s great battle sequences and flashbacks. It’s such an inspiring and rousing movie!

  • Mattoc

    Top Ten

    The Decalogue (winner by a landslide)

    …the rest in no particular order

    Do the Right Thing
    Last Exit to Brooklyn
    National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
    Weekend at Bernies
    Santa Sangre

  • Munro202

    Love the mention of Crimes and Misdemeanors, my favorite film from my favorite director. Its a huge travesty, I think, that it didn’t get a BP nomination, but at least it got its incredibly well-deserved Director, Screenplay, and supporting actor noms (although I think the last one should’ve been a nomination for lead). That would be my number one for that year, above the also great Do The Right Thing.

  • Miguel

    They recently placed Do the Right Thing in AFI’s 100 greatest films of all time list, since they update the list every ten years or so. N it must be noted that its the only film from that year on the list.

  • Nic V

    Steve they don’t make films like that anymore simply because it’s not what the public will pay to see. They’d rather watch a film that glamorizes children killing children for sport. Not like there isn’t enough of that in reality already.

    I’ve seen Do the Right Thing many times and the first time I thought it was ground breaking and continued to believe so for quite a long time. It will always hold a place in cinema history just for the truth that is told but it now seems to me rather dated.

    I don’t recall anyone thinking that this film was going to cause riots. I think that’s over the top. I do think that we all believed it was going to spark conversation about the status of racism in America and we all thought that Spike Lee had made a bold and honest assessment. I’m not sure that I agree with the concept that America in 1989 was on the verge of the race riots that we experienced in the 60’s. If you weren’t around in the 60’s you have no idea what it was like to watch or read about cities on fire.

    I still don’t believe that rascism is as prevalent as many “racists” would like us to believe. I think racism today is based more on economics than it is on the color of one’s skin. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t racism based on one’s pigmentation I just think that money plays more of a part right now. Poverty is the new racism.

    As for Driving Miss Daisy trying to portay a gentler side of racism I never thought of Driving Miss Daisy as that type of film. Morgan Freeman’s character certainly behaved as a paid employee but that film seemed to me to convey or want to tell the story that evolved over the years between two people. I mean if Miss Daisy had a white chauffeur would he have been treated any differently than Morgan Freeman’s character? I’ve known a lot of limo drivers here in NYC and they’re pretty much treated like servants regardless of their color. I don’t think that Miss Daisy was really trying to be anything more than a film about the relationship between two people. If it were going to evolve into a racist issue it would have been more about Jews as the only real issue that affected Daisy was the bomb at the Temple. True there was the distinct feeling that everyone had their place but that was just regulated to Morgan Freeman’s character. It was clear with the Temple issue that Daisy had her place too.

    I liked both Miss Daisy and Do the Right Thing but to me they are both dated.

  • Sonja

    I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never seen “Do the right Thing”….
    I set that on my (quite long) list of movies I have not seen yet, but need to.

    Anyway, I’ve seen “Driving Mrs. Daisy” quite recently and rthough it was not my favorite film at all, I liked it and it was fully the Academy’s cup of tea. They just love these kinds of films.
    And isen’t it at least a little solution an actress can win best leading actress at the age of 80?
    (or just recently best supporting actor at 82)
    It’s highly unlikely, but it had happened. With the right Oscar-bait anything is possible.

  • @Jeremy:

    My problem with Henry V is simply the fact I think it’s one of Shakespeare’s weakest plays. I appreciate Branagh tried to do something different from Olivier’s version, and his filmmaking is very impressive (the actors are all good as well), but I wasn’t drawn into the story at all. I don’t blame Branagh, and I was fine with his nominations for the movie, but that’s why I don’t consider the movie as highly as some people.

  • Dan

    As I’ve said here many times and in other places for much longer than I’ve been here, Do the Right Thing is the Great American Movie.

  • Stevie Gee

    Dead Poets Society:

    There has never been a movie that I have ever seen where my opinion of it has changed so drastically as I grew up. When I first saw the movie I was around 15 years old and felt that I might never see a better movie…watched it at least once a year for the rest of my teen years. Then for some reason I hadn’t watched it in like five or six years when my then girlfriend, now wife, asked if I had seen and because she heard that it was good. I made her and I go to blockbuster that minute and rent it…

    I absolutely hated it. (Outside of the ending, which still got to me a little bit) I did not find one genuine/realistic moment in the entire film. Robin Williams was actually still really good in it but the movie itself, from the script to the heavy handed direction and musical score (which shocked me because I still like and respect pretty much every other Peter Weir movie I have seen) drove me crazy. I was almost sick with myself for loving it so much when I was younger.

    I could go on for a lot longer however I am at work and this article is already a week old and not even about this movie, that being said if I were to replace any movie of the five clearly I would take out Dead Poets Society

  • The 100 Best Black Movies (Ever)

    1. “Do The Right Thing” (1989; Spike Lee; Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Samuel L. Jackson,
    Martin Lawrence, Spike Lee, Robin Harris)
    2. “The Color Purple” (1985; Steven Spielberg; Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah
    3. “Claudine” (1974; John Berry; Diahann Carroll, James Earl Jones)
    4. “Malcolm X” (1992; Spike Lee; Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett)
    5. “Sounder” (1972; Martin Ritt; Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, Kevin Hooks)
    Bailey, Diahann Carroll)
    6. “Carmen Jones” (1954; Otto Preminger; Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte)
    7. “Super Fly” (1972; Gordon Parks Jr.; Ron O’Neal, Carl Lee)
    8. “Cooley High” (1975; Michael Schultz; Glynn Thurman, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs,
    Garrett Morris)
    9. “Hoop Dreams” (1995; Steve James; William Gates, Arthur Agee)
    10. “Coming to America” (1988; John Landis; Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl
    11. “Ray” (2005; Taylor Hackford; Jamie Foxx, Regina King)
    12. “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” TV (1974; John Korty; Cicely Tyson)
    13. “Bamboozled” (2000; Spike Lee; Damon Wayans, Savion Glover, Jada Pinkett Smith)
    14. “Cotton Comes to Harlem” (1970; Ossie Davis; Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St.
    15.“Richard Pryor: Live in Concert” (1979; Jeff Margolis)
    16. “Shaft” (1971; Gordon Parks; Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn)
    17. “Dreamgirls” (2006; Bill Condon; Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy,
    Jennifer Hudson)
    18. “Friday” (1995; F. Gary Gray; Ice Cube, Chris Tucker)
    19. “Baby Boy” (2001; John Singleton; Tyrese Gibson, Taraji P. Henson, Snoop Dogg)
    20. “A Raisin in the Sun” (1961; Daniel Petrie; Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee)

    21. “The Five Heartbeats” (1991; Robert Townsend; Robert Townsend, Michael Wright,
    22. “Watermelon Man” (1970; Melvin Van Peebles; Godfrey Cambridge)
    23. “City of God” (2002; Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund; Alexandre Rodrigues)
    24. “Glory” (1989; Edward Zwick; Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher)
    25. “Menace II Society” (1993; Allen and Albert Hughes; Tyrin Turner, Lorenz Tate, Jada
    Pinkett Smith)
    26. “Tsotsi” (2005; Gavin Hood; Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto)
    27. “The Emperor Jones” (1933; Dudley Murphy; Paul Robeson)
    28. “Eve’s Bayou” (1997; Kasi Lemmons; Samuel L. Jackson, Debbi Morgan, Vondie
    29. “Lilies of the Field” (1963; Ralph Nelson; Sidney Poitier)

    30. “Soul Food” (1997; George Tillman Jr.; Vanessa Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Mekhi Phifer)
    31. “Black Caesar” (1973; Larry Cohen; Fred Williamson, Gloria Hendry)
    32. “Boyz N the Hood” (1991; John Singleton; Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice
    33. “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986; Spike Lee; Tracy Camilla Johns, Spike Lee, Tommy
    Redmond Hicks)
    34. “Island in the Sun” (1957; Robert Rossen; Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge)
    35. “In the Heat of the Night” (1967; Norman Jewison; Sidney Poitier)
    36. “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972; Sidney J. Furie; Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams,
    Richard Pryor)
    37. “When We Were Kings” (1996; Leon Gast; Muhammad Ali, George Foreman)
    38. “Love & Basketball” (2000; Gina Prince-Bythewood; Omar Epps, Sanaa Lathan)
    39. “What’s Love Got to Do With It” (1993; Brian Gibson; Angela Bassett, Laurence

    40. “The Mack” (1973; Michael Campus; Max Julien, Don Gordon, Richard Pryor)
    41. “To Sleep With Anger” (1990; Charles Burnett; Danny Glover, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Mary
    42. “The Exile” (1931; Oscar Micheaux; Eunice Brooks, Stanley Morrell)
    43. “Set It Off” (1997; F. Gary Gray; Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox)
    44. “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” (1971; Melvin Van Peebles; Melvin Van
    Peebles, Mario Van Peebles)
    45. “Waiting to Exhale” (1995; Forest Whitaker; Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett,
    Loretta Devine)
    46. “Nothing But a Man” (1964; Michael Roemer; Ivan Dixon, Abbey Lincoln)
    47. “Blade” (1998; Stephen Norrington; Wesley Snipes, N’Bushe Wright)
    48. “Devil in a Blue Dress” (1995; Carl Franklin; Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle)
    49. “Sonkofa” (1993; Haile Gerima; Kofi Ghanaba)

    50. “Love Jones” (1997; Theodore Witcher; Nia Long, Lorenz Tate, Isaiah Washington)
    51. “A Rage in Harlem” (1991; Bill Duke; Forest Whitaker, Gregory Hines)
    52. “A Soldier’s Story” (1984; Norman Jewison; Howard E. Rollins Jr., Adolph Caesar,
    Denzel Washington)
    53. “Dead Presidents” (1995; Albert and Allen Hughes; Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris
    54. “Hollywood Shuffle” (1987; Robert Townsend; Robert Townsend, Anne-Marie
    Johnson, Keenen Ivory Wayans)
    55. “Car Wash” (1976; Michael Schultz; Richard Pryor, Bill Duke, Franklin Ajaye)
    56. “The Learning Tree” (1969; Gordon Parks; Kyle Johnson, Alex Clarke, Estelle Evans)
    57. “Stormy Weather” (1943; Andrew L. Stone; Bill Robinson, Lena Horne)
    58. “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” (1988; Keenen Ivory Wayans; Keenen Ivory Wayans, Jim
    Brown, Bernie Casey)
    59. “Cabin in the Sky” (1943; Vincente Minnelli; Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong)

    60. “Wattstax” (1973; Mel Stuart; Isaac Hayes, Richard Pryor, Albert King)
    61. “Rosewood” (1997; John Singleton; Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Esther Rolle)
    62. “To Sir, With Love” (1967; James Clavell; Sidney Poitier)
    63. “New Jack City” (1991; Mario Van Peebles: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T)
    64. “House Party” (1990; Reginald Hudlin; Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, Robin
    65. “The Green Pastures” (1936; Marc Connelly and William Keighley; Eddie “Rochester
    ” Anderson, Rex Ingram)
    66. “Hotel Rwanda” (2004; Terry George; Don Cheadle, Sophie Okenedo)
    67. “Home of the Brave” (1949; Mark Robson; James Edwards)
    68. “Lean on Me” (1989; John G. Avildsen; Morgan Freeman, Robert Guillaume)
    69. “Hallelujah!” (1929; King Vidor; Daniel L. Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney)

    70. “The River Niger” (1976; Krishna Shah; Cicley Tyson, James Earl Jones, Lou Gossett
    71. “Purple Rain” (1984; Albert Magnoli; Prince, Morris Day, Apollonia Kotero)
    72. “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” (1999; Martha Coolidge; Halle Berry)
    73. “Krush Groove” (1985; Michael Schultz; Blair Underwood, Sheila E.)
    74. “La haine” (1995; Mathieu Kassovitz; Vincent Cassel)
    75. “Sugar Cane Alley” (1983; Euzhan Palcy; Garry Cadenat)
    76.“When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts” (2006; Spike Lee; Ray Nagin,
    Terence Blanchard, Harry Belafonte)
    77. “Cornbread, Earl and Me” (1975; Joe Manduke; Jamal Wilkes, Moses Gunn,
    Laurence Fishburne)
    78. “Juice” (1992; Ernest R. Dickerson; Tupac Shakur, Omar Epps, Queen Latifah)
    79. “Uptown Saturday Night” (1974; Sidney Poitier; Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Harry

    80. “Jungle Fever” (1991; Spike Lee; Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, Ossie Davis,
    Ruby Dee)
    81. “Killer of Sheep” (1977; Charles Burnett; Henry G. Sanders)
    82. “The Cool World” (1963; Shirley Clarke; Rony Clayton)
    83. “Buck and the Preacher” (1972; Sidney Poitier; Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte)
    84. “Putney Swope” (1969; Robert Downey Sr.; Arnold Johnson)
    85. “Paris is Burning” (1991; Jennie Livingston; Paris Dupree)
    86. “The Harder They Come” (1973; Perry Henzell; Jimmy Cliff)
    87. “Daughters of the Dust” (1991; Julie Dash; Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers)
    88. “The Spook Who Sat by the Door” (1973; Ivan Dixon; Lawrence Cook)
    89. “Battle of Algiers” (1966; Gillo Pontecorvo; Brahim Hadjadj)

    90. “Precious” (2009; Lee Daniels; Mo’nique, Gabourey Sidibe, Paula Patton, Mariah
    91. “Miracle in Harlem” (1948; Jack Kemp: Stepin Fetchit, Sheila Guyse)
    92. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967; Stanley Kramer; Sidney Poitier, Beah
    93. “Burning an Illusion” (1981; Menelik Shabazz; Cassie McFarlane, Victor Romero)
    94. “Cry Freedom” (1987; Richard Attenborough; Denzel Washington)
    95. “Akeelah and the Bee” (2006; Doug Atchison; Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne,
    Angela Bassett)
    96. “Wild Style” (1982; Charlie Ahearn; Fab Five Freddy, Grandmaster Flash)
    97. “Aaron Loves Angela” (1975; Gordon Parks Jr.; Kevin Hooks, Irene Cara)
    98. “Bamako” (2006; Abderrahmane Sissako; Aissa Maiga)
    99. “Undercover Brother” (2002; Malcolm D. Lee; Eddie Griffin, Dave Chappelle, Billy
    Dee Williams)
    100. “The Princess and the Frog” (2009; Ron Clements and John Musker; Anika Noni
    Rose, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis )

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