April 8, Las Vegas: Let me begin this post with two caveats. One: I actually watched this movie a month ago and I’m only now getting around to posting about it. Two: If you’ve not seen this movie or forgotten it as I had, STOP reading because I’m about to drop a big spoiler. For your safety, I’ll put it after this clip of my favorite character in the film, Radio Raheem.
I forgot that Radio Raheem dies! I watched this movie once, forever ago, and I remembered Sal’s and Jon Turturro(!) and even that there was the riot at the end, but I forgot the inciting incident. And so as Radio Raheem was walking around the neighborhood, I’m sitting here watching it just loving him. Not even believing he’s at mortal risk when the cops have him in the chokehold and then HE DIES. I watched the movie on an airplane and I was suddenly softly sobbing into the seatback in front of me.
What a powerful fucking movie. It’s campy and rough around the edges at times, but that fun and looseness only better sets you up for the end. I wish we could still have national conversations this powerful about race. But for our world today, I’m glad we had this conversation when we did.
You know there is a version of this movie available for your purchase in the Bezos-mega-plex, right?