Spike Lee Releases “Da 5 Bloods”
ICM Partners is pleased to congratulate Spike Lee on the release of his latest feature film, Da 5 Bloods, a movie Rolling Stone praised as “a new career peak…a soul-stirring film for the ages.”
Shockingly, this is the first major film to tell a Vietnam war narrative through the experience of black soldiers. Da 5 Bloods follows four African American veterans as they return to Vietnam decades after the war, in search of their squad leader’s remains and other buried treasure. The Guardian revered the movie as “an insurgent filmic uproar to match the uproar in the world. Da 5 Bloods is a paintball gun loaded with real bullets: a blast of satire and emotional agony about race and the American empire, the evergreen wound of Vietnam, African-American sacrifices on the field of battle, and the fact that black deaths matter.”
While the film interweaves archived footage from the Vietnam war and the subsequent civil unrest that swept the country during that era, Lee has acknowledged the parallels that still permeate today’s national climate.
“That war had America divided,” the Academy Award-winning director said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “You can fast-forward to today, and we still see this divisiveness. That’s the biggest parallel. Another: People lie. LBJ, Tricky Dick, the Pentagon, Kissinger, all those people lied to the American public. And today we got this guy in the White House, Agent Orange…who is doing the same thing. Lies, bald-faced lies.”
Throughout his nearly 40 years of making movies, Lee has been one of the most vocal political filmmakers the industry has ever seen. Politics are inseparable from his art form.
“His strength as a political filmmaker has always resided in his ability to bring contradictions to chaotic life rather than to resolve them in any ideologically coherent proposition,” A.O. Scott wrote in his New York Times review of Da 5 Bloods. “This is the opposite of a shortcoming. It seems safe to say that America itself has never been an ideologically coherent proposition, and its greatest artists embrace havoc as a kind of birthright, producing not analyses of chaos but indelible embodiments of it.”
Before Da 5 Bloods became the Spike Lee joint it is today, it was a script called The Last Tour, about four aging white veterans who returned to Vietnam. Lee received the script in 2017 and along with his co-writer Kevin Willmott, re-wrote the story to center on African American veterans.
“We flipped it,” Lee told THR. “Put our flavor on it, some barbecue sauce, some funk, some Marvin Gaye. And there you have it.”
Da 5 Bloods is available to stream on Netflix starting June 12th.