In an accompanying CNN interview, Lee responded to criticism of the protests across the US, saying: “This is history again and again and again. This is not new. We saw it in the 60s, with the assassination of Dr King… People are reacting the way they feel they have to, to be heard. People are fed up. The attack on Black bodies has been here since the get-go.” In the interview he’s wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the date 1619, the widely acknowledged date of the arrival of African labourers to Virginia, US, and the beginning of slavery.
This comes the week before the release of the Oscar-winning BlacKkKlansman director’s new feature film Da 5 Bloods on Netflix, an action-adventure film about four Black veterans who return to Vietnam 40 years after the war to recover the body of their squad leader alongside some buried treasure. The script was originally written about white soldiers but rewritten by Lee and Kevin Willmott to focus on Black soldiers, played by Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Norm Lewis.
Lee was also due to chair the Cannes Film Festival jury this year, but that has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re looking for ways to support the Black Lives Matter movement, our evolving list of resources features petitions to sign, funds and charities to donate to, and other means for educating yourself and those around you.