In the wake of protests in the U.S. following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd, Spike Lee has released a short film with a powerful message on police brutality. The film, called 3 Brothers, equates Floyd’s treatment at the hands of police with Eric Garner’s and Radio Raheem, the character in Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing.
Lee released the film when he appeared on CNN during a report on the protests that have hit the U.S. The film opens with the words “Will History Stop Repeating Itself”, and features the deaths of Floyd and Garner as well as scenes from Do the Right Thing, in which Radio Raheem is strangled to death by white police officers.
Garner died in 2014 in Staten Island, New York, after a white police officer used a chokehold to restrain him. Floyd died last month after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes as he yelled: “I can’t breathe.”
Their deaths are examples of the ongoing systemic racism in America where black people find themselves being killed during encounters with white police officers. Floyd’s death has sparked protests across the U.S. with at least 1,600 people arrested in 22 cities as some demonstrations turned violent.
“How can people not understand why people are acting the way they are?” Lee asked during his interview with CNN.
“…This is not new, we saw with the riots in the 60s, the assassination of Dr King, every time something jumps off and we don’t get our justice, people are reacting they way they do to be heard … We are seeing this again and again and again … This is the thing: the killing of black bodies, that is what this country is built upon,” said the Academy Award-winning director who has joined the growing list of celebrities calling for justice for Floyd.
Watch Lee’s powerful short film below: