Format: DVD from Northern Illinois University Founders Memorial Library on laptop.
For a long time, I’ve said that my favorite Spike Lee movie is Do the Right Thing. I like the questions it raises, and I like even more the fact that rather than answering them, it just asks more questions. It’s a movie that creates conversation rather than trying to end one, and I respect the hell out of the decisions that Lee made with it. A number of people have told me that my opinion is based on the fact that I hadn’t yet seen Malcolm X. Well, now I have. I think I still like Do the Right Thing better, but I completely understand why I needed to see this.
As with any biopic, there are going to be things here that going to deviate from the truth. However, I also think that’s less of an issue with this film than it is with many others. Much of this comes from the fact that Lee came under a great deal of fire while filming from many people who were concerned that he would damage the story of Malcolm X in some way, or focus too much on negatives. Interestingly, this was exactly the same criticism that forced Norman Jewison off the project years earlier. So, while I’m certain there are some amalgamated characters and scenes created for dramatic purposes, I’m also pretty convinced that Lee stuck to the truth as much as he could.