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One of those classic milestones of film making that I never got around to seeing, and given that during my time in Germany I would probably have been forced to see it in a German dubbed version maybe that’s a good thing. One key element of “Do The Right Thing” is language – Brooklyn being a melting pot of people from all over the world, all bringing in their own flavour and mixing it with the American way of life. If you close your eyes, the enjoyment of all those different ways of expressing yourself, of being macho and cool and aggressive and soothing, is astonishing.

The film depicts a very weird environment, I have to say, with everybody being caught in some form of need for permanent self-presentation and everyone being confrontational at all times, and most of them oddly enough with their own kind of racism, sometimes overt, sometimes so deeply hidden in their everyday life that they would be stunned if confronted with it.

The film is pure atmosphere, the atmosphere of a terribly hot day in a neighbourhood where everybody is familiar with everybody else, and where no action goes without being commented by the abundance of observers. Small village life in the middle of the Big Apple. The number of obnoxious people roaming the street largely outnumbers the nice and friendly and helpful guys, and if there is a morale to the story, then it is that in life and in New York, obnoxious and morally corrupt backstabbers often win. Ask the Pizza guy about it, he will sign up to this, sitting on the ashes of his shop.

This film is important for Americans to watch, I’m sure, but it is also entertaining and meaningful for anybody else. It depicts a life that cannot be imagined, just shown, about a very strange world that seems to be utter reality in some places not so far. Weird people there are …

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