There have been dozens of Vietnam War films, but none like Da 5 Bloods, Spike Lee’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning hit BlacKkKlansman. Its distinction comes down to who the movie is about – four Black friends who travel back to Vietnam as older men to retrieve the remains of a fellow soldier who died there during the war – and who’s telling the story. Bookending the film with historical footage and the words of vehemently anti-war activists Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lee was determined to examine the immorality and folly of America’s Indochina excursion through a Black perspective – something his cast says has never been done before. Ahead of the movie’s release on Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes Editor Jacqueline Coley spoke with Lee about his ambitions for and approach to the story, and with cast members Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. about cinema’s ongoing fascination with Vietnam, working with Lee, and what they hope audiences will take away from his unique and audacious new film.
Da 5 Bloods premieres on Netflix on June 12, 2020.