*Academy Award® Winner Spike Lee’s latest film, “Da 5 Bloods“ hits Netflix this week. It follows four Black vets who served together — Paul (Delroy Lindo) and his worried son (Jonathan Majors) , Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) — returning to Vietnam on a quest to bring home the remains of their fallen Squad Leader (Chadwick Boseman) and a truckload full of gold they buried almost 50 years ago.
Although there are several films covering the subject of the Vietnam war and what life was like for those veterans once they return home, one that focuses on the plight of the returning black soldier is rare. The two that immediately come to mind are “Dead Presidents” and “The Walking Dead” – both of which were released in 1995.
The film follows two timelines, one in present-day Vietnam that begins as the friends arrive and reconnect, this drama also has elements of comedy and action-adventure as the crew attempts to retrieve the money and their former leader’s remains. The second timeline is a flashback to da Blood’s experience during the war. We meet squad captain Stormin’ Norman and begin to unravel the events from the past that have created the current-day circumstances for the group. A Black Trump supporter, bankruptcy, illness and addiction are just some of the problems da Bloods are up against.
EUR’s Jill Munroe talked with Lee about the film’s release during a time when the world is experiencing protests about the murder of George Floyd, along with some similar topics highlighted in the film. Among them, Black men and mental health. We also discussed the return of the NBA and if the Lakers win the title, will there be an asterisk next to it.
“The power of the almighty, the highest of high” is how Spike described the divine timing that the film’s release is – which features scenes and footage from the actual war and historical events involving Black people over the last 40 years – ” we were scheduled to be released in theaters, and then the world changed.”
Da 5 Bloods is available on Netflix from June 12.