Spike Lee has always had an urgent and impactful way of confronting our country’s history and the injustices facing African Americans. That being said, the Academy Award-winning writer and director’s latest film, Da 5 Bloods, could not have been released at more appropriate time.
Da 5 Bloods follows four African American Vietnam War veterans as they return to Vietnam in hopes of finding the remains of their fallen squad leader and a fortune of gold they had hidden away. What starts as an exciting adventure ends up becoming a personal journey revealing how the scars from the past have never truly healed.
Although a tad too long and a jumbled second act, Da 5 Bloods is ambitious, politically charged and essential viewing to understand the African American experience during this tumultuous time.
These men weren’t just fighting the war in Vietnam — they were fighting a war in their own country. This is a side of our nation’s story we haven’t seen and it’s long overdue.
What I love about Lee’s work is that we are not just viewers. We are submersed into his reality as active participants and he has outdone himself.
For example, when Delroy Lindo looks straight into the camera, he looks into your soul. We don’t just see his pain. We FEEL his pain. We feel his torment and grief.
It doesn’t hurt that Lindo gives one of the most devastating performances. I have never seen PTSD portrayed in such a raw and haunting way. If he doesn’t win an Academy Award, I’ll be dammed.
Speaking of Academy Awards, I fully expect seeing Da 5 Bloods there. It may not be as perfect as Blackkklansman, but it is nothing short of brilliant. Da 5 Bloods sets you up to knock you down and will leave you shaken.
Final Thoughts: Engaging, entertaining and emotional, Spike Lee’s latest is too powerful to be ignored.