With the semester winding down I thought that I would touch on one of the ideas that Lee constantly incorporates into his movies, the notion of “Waking Up”. The message of waking up society is clearly present in School Daze, Do the Right Thing, and Chiraq but it has recently trickled into our everyday news with Lee’s endorsement of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. It is one of the few times, if not the only, where a major filmmaker has teamed up to shoot a political ad for a candidate.
What I found to be most interesting about the campaigns is how Spike Lee is no longer embedding messages in his films for his audiences to pick up, but rather he is proactively sending a clear and direct message about the state of change that needs to occur in America. A lot of the films we have watched this semester have told us to “wake up” but have provided no clear instructions or method on how we can do so, thus it is interesting to hear Lee claim that voting for a particular candidate will assist in “waking up” American society.
Attached are a short Soundcloud clip that was released before the South Carolina primary and a longer, five minute ad targeted to the greater United States population.