Spike Lee has always used film to convey powerful messages. Do The Right Thing, which was released in 1989, about racial tensions and an uprising in Brooklyn, New York, is still deeply relevant today.
The 63-year-old has now released a short film in honor of Geogre Floyd, which aired on last night’s (June 9) The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
The short, titled 3 Brothers, intertwines the choking death of Radio Raheem from Do the Right Thing, Eric Garner in 2014 and George Floyd, who was killed after a police officer put his knee on his neck on May 25.
Spike explained to Fallon that Radio Raheem was inspired by a real person, "His murder is based upon the real-life murder of Michael Stewart, who was a graffiti artist here in New York City, 1983. New York City transit police jumped on him, put him in a stranglehold and he died in a coma several days after that."
Lee continued, "When I saw Eric Garner, I’m like that's Ray Raheem based upon Michael Stewart. And then to see our brother King Floyd, and I know that he saw what happened to Eric Garner. So he's seeing that in his mind as his last eight-and-a-half minutes were being suffocated out of him."
Lee also talked about the importance of voting in November, "People are gonna come out and vote and say, hell no to Agent Orange. Like, you gotta go. That is my hope. That's my prayer… this presidential election will be the most important election in history of the modern world."
Lee added, "They had to talk him down from siccing armed forces on peaceful Americans. It's like this guy’s never even heard of the Constitution of the United States of America."
Watch Spike Lee’s interview with Jimmy Fallon and the short 3 Brothers, below:
(Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic,)