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Date released: 12th June 2020
Duration: 124 minutes
Director: Spike Lee
Writer: Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo.
The story is about four African American veterans of the Vietnam war which Vietnam won. The film stars, Delroy Lindo as Paul, Norm Lewis as Eddie and Isaiah Whitlock Jr. as Melvin, Clarke Peters as Otis and their squad leader Norman whose role is played by Chadwick Boseman. Together, they dubbed themselves the “Bloods.” The squad, however, loses the leader after Norman is killed in Vietnamese counter-attack.
The narrative opens as the four meet up in a hotel in Vietnam for their mission. They plan on going back to the country to find the remains of their former leader, Stormin’ Norman. They talk highly of him and remember him with a certain bitterness. They also go to the country in search of a missing treasure. When they were in the war, the five were sent to recover some gold from a fallen CIA plane. Norman stated that the gold should be buried so that they would return later to recover it and dedicate its proceeds to the struggle of black people in America. Paul’s son joins his father due to his concern and the five go together into the forest to seek out the treasure. Beforehand, Paul’s son; David, meets Hedy who is the founder of an organization called LAMB, a group dedicated to the removal of mines. While they are in the forest, the five come across the gold by accident and clean it out. They then find the remains of their fallen comrade and pay their respects. While they move out of the forest, Eddie steps on a landmine and dies. David also steps on a landmine just as Hedy and her group meet up with them David is saved but Paul decides to enslave Hedy and her trio because they knew what was happening. As they come out of the forest, they are met with mercenaries who had taken one of the LAMB members into hostage. A shootout ensues and only one Vietnam mercenary is left who goes out to get others. The remaining group splits up and Paul heads into the forest while the others go to a temple to
defend themselves. Paul loses his gold and while he gives a monologue to the camera, Stormin’ Norman’s ghost appears to him.
During this scene, it is revealed that Paul had shot Norman by accident and that his guilt had led him to madness. Norman tells him that it was an accident and assures Paul that he has forgiven him. Paul is later seen digging his grave surrounded by the mercenaries who shoot him dead. For the rest of the group, they are attacked and all of the original group die except for Otis. They move out of the forest and the gold is later converted to cash distributed to various causes including the Black Lives Matter campaign.
The movie has some tacky places but is overall successful. It is not a cliché Vietnam War movie but one about the struggle and oppression of black people, it is relevant to the present time black people struggles. The radio host states that the black GI is 35% in Vietnam whereas they make up only 11% of the total American population. The movie shows how black people were exploited to fight wars for white people.
An immortal war that was not theirs and for rights that they did not have. It is also a movie about love and acceptance. When the four members wanted to kill some white people because of MLK’s assassination, Norman calls them off and tells them that MLK was a peaceful man. Overall the movie does well to highlight the struggle of black people in America.
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