Four veterans of Vietnam and the son of one of them will launch the treasure hunt in the new Spike Lee, <em>Da 5 Bloods — blood Brothers</em>.
June 11, 2020
Updated on June 12, 2020 at 4h17
Da 5 Bloods — blood Brothers: gold fever ****
CRITICAL / Pandemic or not, Da 5 Bloods — blood Brothers was one of the films most anticipated of the summer. Spike Lee hits the target with this drama of war removing, to horse between the past and the present, that examines the use of African-americans in the front line of the Vietnam war to an angle socio-political while offering a solid suspense caused by the gold fever.
Blood brothers had to be presented in world premiere at the Cannes film Festival where Operation infiltration (BlacKkKlansman) was awarded the Grand prix in 2018. For the latter, Spike Lee had used the caustic humour and blended it skillfully genres, in particular by intermingling reality and fiction, to protest the systemic racism that continues to exist in the United States.
Blood brothers is in the same line, with a tone more dramatic. The film opens with a montage of images of time, from muhammad Ali to Malcolm X, with pictures of obscure heroes, while combining extracts-shocks of the war, to give the initial context for the viewer. And the references to Donald Turmp and Black Lives Matter are part of the desire ever-renewed of the director to make the film political.
The table is set for the arrival, of our days, a quartet of veterans of the afro-americans in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). They came to retrieve the body of their blood brother Stormin’ Norman (Chadwick Norman), fell in battle. Not only that, but the gang has hidden a huge pile of gold in the jungle.
Lee alternates the sequences between the past and the present. The flashbacks (filmed in the format of “history” 4:3) are used to demonstrate the strong link that unites them, but also their revolt. The black soldiers are used as cannon fodder while the United States is in turmoil after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Ironically, as repeated in the propaganda vietnamese, they’re fighting to defend rights they do not even possess the country…
Several decades later, the ex-soldiers remained deeply marked by this war that is perpetuated in their head. In particular, in that of Paul (Delroy Lindo), who suffers clearly part of the syndrome of post-traumatic stress disorder. His son David (Jonathan Majors), who is worried about his state of free electron, joins the group out of the blue. The contentious father-son will be an important carrier of the story.
Which is also one of the high points, with the friendship between blood brothers. More than their quest for the lost gold that sinks into the madness of greed as in the treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) John Houston. The veteran filmmaker is an ardent film buff : some sequences are a clear reference to Apocalypse Now (2001).
As the masterpiece of Coppola, the soundtrack plays a crucial role. Here, the songs of What’s Going On (1971) are inextricably linked to the story. A consequent choice as the album of Marvin Gaye explores the racial inequalities, the injustice, the suffering, and from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran. This underlines to what extent the use of classical music “hollywood” turns out to be a false note.
Moreover, the director of Do The Right Thing does not happen to give his film, despite its efforts, the epic scale ofApocalypse Now. There are no sequences unforgettable despite his extraordinary talent as a filmmaker (his sense of framework and the positioning of the camera are part of his distinctive signature). And 2h35, unfortunately, there are lengths…