Spike Lee releases short film spotlighting police brutality, saying: “This is not new”

The film, 3 Brothers, was released on Twitter and compares scenes from the director’s 1989 film Do The Right Thing with clips of the murders of George Floyd and Eric Garner.

3 June 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read


Warning: the video below contains footage of the murder of Black men by police officers.

Director Spike Lee has released a new short film about police brutality against Black men, titled 3 Brothers. Unveiled on CNN and then published on Twitter, the film splices clips from Lee’s 1989 film Do The Right Thing – in which the character Radio Raheem is choked to death by police – with footage of the murders of George Floyd and Eric Garner. It reveals shocking comparability between the 31-year-old film and recent events, and opens with the words: “Will History Stop Repeating Itself?”

In an accompanying CNN interview, Lee responded to criticism of the protests across the US, saying: “This is history again and again and again. This is not new. We saw it in the 60s, with the assassination of Dr King… People are reacting the way they feel they have to, to be heard. People are fed up. The attack on Black bodies has been here since the get-go.” In the interview he’s wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the date 1619, the widely acknowledged date of the arrival of African labourers to Virginia, US, and the beginning of slavery.

This comes the week before the release of the Oscar-winning BlacKkKlansman director’s new feature film Da 5 Bloods on Netflix, an action-adventure film about four Black veterans who return to Vietnam 40 years after the war to recover the body of their squad leader alongside some buried treasure. The script was originally written about white soldiers but rewritten by Lee and Kevin Willmott to focus on Black soldiers, played by Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Norm Lewis.

Lee was also due to chair the Cannes Film Festival jury this year, but that has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re looking for ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement, our evolving list of resources features petitions to sign, funds and charities to donate to, and other means for educating yourself and those around you.


Spike Lee: Do the Right Thing / 3 Brothers still

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Spike Lee: 3 Brothers

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent over a decade working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on jb@itsnicethat.com.

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