DESTROYER
2018, Annapurna Pictures, 123 min, Dir: Karyn Kusama

This gripping crime drama follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman), who as a rookie had been placed undercover with a gang in the California desert, with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, Bell must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past. “It’s a blunt, deeply cynical look at the idea of justice in a place like Los Angeles. … Daring, yes. But Kusama has something far more important: vision (not to mention a formidable accomplice in Kidman).” - Peter Debruge, Variety.


CROOKLYN
1994, Universal, 114 min, USA, Dir: Spike Lee

Starring Alfre Woodard and Delroy Lindo and featuring a standout performance from Zelda Harris as the film’s 9-year-old narrator, CROOKLYN is a beautifully textured look at growing up right and wrong in black America. The emotional flip side to the more explosive DO THE RIGHT THING, the film (co-written with sister Joie and brother Cinque) is Lee’s most heartfelt (and surprisingly sentimental) film: a semiautobiographical portrait of the Carmichael family in Brooklyn in the early 1970s.


DO THE RIGHT THING
1989, Universal, 120 min, USA, Dir: Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s “magnifying glass under the hot sun” masterpiece (and one of the most controversial American films of its day), DO THE RIGHT THING is also deceptively simple. The story revolves around the comings and goings at Sal’s Famous Pizzeria on the hottest summer day in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Shot with an almost all-black crew, the film stars Lee as the hyperactive Mookie, with terrific support from Danny Aiello as Sal, Ossie Davis as Da Mayor, Giancarlo Esposito as Buggin’ Out and John Turturro as Pino. The film also features then-newcomer Rosie Perez, Ruby Dee, Bill Nunn and Joie Lee. With music by Public Enemy.


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