In a non-COVID-19 world, Spike Lee would be in France right now, leading the competition jury at the Cannes Film Festival. Instead, the filmmaker is at home in lockdown, prepping the release of his next feature film, “Da 5 Bloods,” which is coming to Netflix next month. But Lee still hasn’t forgotten about Cannes and is promising to return, as we are introduced to the first pictures from his upcoming drama.
Speaking to the French outlet, Le Point, Lee was asked about his status for next year’s Cannes Film Festival. Previously, Cannes boss Thierry Fremaux had stated he thought Lee would return to lead the jury in 2021. And when asked, Lee confirmed that, saying, “Obviously I will be president of the Cannes 2021 jury, we discussed it with Thierry and I will be there. Vive la France!”
But before that happens, in June, Lee is set to release his new drama, “Da 5 Bloods,” directly onto Netflix, as most cinemas around the world continue to be closed due to the pandemic. And in honor of the film being less than a month away from hitting the globe, Vanity Fair released the first pictures of his new film, which tells the story of a group of Black Vietnam War vets that return to the country years later to honor their fallen leader. The cast of the film includes Chadwick Boseman, Delroy Lindo, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis, and Clarke Peters.
For Lee, one of the purposes of the film is to show the impact that Black people have had on our country. And it’s something that he thinks is incredibly timely, given the words of President Trump (Lee refers to him as “Agent Orange”).
“That’s why when Agent Orange talks about, ‘If you don’t like America you can leave…’ Fuck that!” Lee said. “We built this motherfucker! I mean, we’ve been nothing but patriotic! And this great, great country has not really made its promise yet to people of color.”
And though Lee is adamantly against Trump, the filmmaker thought it was still important for one of the characters in his new film, Paul (Lindo), to be a supporter of the President.
“It’s something that my mother taught me very early on,” he said. “She’d say, ‘Spike, all Black people ain’t the same. All Black people don’t look alike, or think alike.’ So we’ve got this group, and I had to show some type of diversity amongst these African American men. They can’t be all alike—that’s not only stupid, it’s not dramatic. […] And there are a small minority of Black folks who drank the orange Kool-Aid. To make him more dramatic, Paul is a MAGA-hat-wearing motherfucker.”
“Da 5 Bloods” arrives on Netflix on June 12. You can see the new pictures below.