Spike Lee has premiered a new short film, titled 3 Brothers — Radio Raheem, Eric Garner, and George Floyd, in response to the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd

By Nigel Smith
June 01, 2020 02:43 PM
Advertisement

Spike Lee is using his frustrations to fuel his art.

The BlacKkKlansman writer/director, 63, has premiered a powerful new short film, titled 3 Brothers — Radio Raheem, Eric Garner, and George Floyd, in response to the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.

The short, which Lee debuted on Sunday during an appearance on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, uses footage of Floyd and Eric Garner's deaths, interspersed with clips from the climax of his 1989 classic, Do the Right Thing. That film, which was nominated for two Academy Awards, examined race relations in a Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood and the tragic consequences of letting hate and racism go unchecked.

Frazer Harrison/Getty

"We are seeing this again and again and again. This is the thing, the killing of black bodies, that is what this country is built upon," Lee said on Lemon's program.

?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1267269978320826368&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.indiewire.com%2F2020%2F06%2Fspike-lee-3-brothers-short-film-george-floyd-radio-raheem-1202234699%2F

The protests — some of which have turned violent — began last week in Minneapolis when footage of Floyd and his death after a police officer kneeled on his neck during an arrest surfaced online.

Derek Chauvin, the officer involved in the incident, has been fired from his post and was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.

Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, died in 2014 in Staten Island after an NYPD officer used a chokehold on Garner while making the arrest. At the time of the incident, Garner was unarmed. A years-long federal investigation into the officer's action ended in 2019 with no charges being brought. The officer, Daniel Pantaleo, was later fired.

Lee previously referenced Do the Right Thing during his 2019 Academy Awards speech, where he won Best Original Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman. 

Without specifically mentioning the president by name, Lee ended his acceptance speech by pointing out that "the 2020 presidential election is right around the corner."

"Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history," he said. "Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing!"