Spike Lee has directed, written, produced, and acted in dozens
of films that present an expansive, nuanced, proudly opinionated,
and richly multifaceted portrait of American society. As the only
African-American filmmaker ever to establish a world-class career,
Lee has paid acute attention to the experiences of racial and
ethnic minorities. But white men and women also play important
roles in his movies, and his interest in class, race, and urban
life hasn't prevented his films from ranging over broad swaths of
the American scene in stories as diverse as the audiences who view
them. His defining trait is a willingness to raise hard questions
about contemporary America without pretending to have easy answers;
his pictures are designed to challenge and provoke us, not ease our
minds or pacify our emotions. The opening words of his 1989
masterpiece "Do the Right Thing" present his core message in two
emphatic syllables: "Wake up ""Spike Lee's America" is a vibrant
and provocative engagement not only with the work of a great
filmmaker, but also with American society and politics.
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