The latest Spike Lee joint is now available to watch in the comfort of your own home. Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods follows a quartet of Vietnam War veterans who travel back to that country in search of buried treasure and the remains of their fallen squad leader. The movie has been earning critical acclaim, and one actual Vietnam War vet told Lee he was glad that the director finally explored the conflict in his own special way.
It goes without saying that Spike Lee is no stranger to tackling social issues and race relations in his movies, and Da 5 Bloods is no exception. Here’s what Lee recently had to say about how this Vietnam War vet he spoke to felt about his movie:
A black Vietnam vet who saw the film, said, ‘Spike, what the fuck took you so long?’ Black and brown Vietnam vets, they loved the film, and that’s my validation. They put their lives on the line, for the red, white, and blue, while also knowing that their brothers and sisters were fighting another war in the United States of America.
Da 5 Bloods certainly covers a lot of ground when it comes wrapping the movie’s fictional narrative around real-world context, from the flashback scenes set in Vietnam (including one scene where the soldiers learn about Martin Luther King Jr. being assassinated) to how the older veterans have been affected by current events in the United States. The movie also throws in a lot of archival footage for audiences to absorb, particularly revolving around the civil rights movement in the late 1960s and how it addressed the experiences of black soldiers in Vietnam.
Spike Lee has been churning out feature films since the mid-1980s with She’s Gotta Have It, and while he’s no stranger to covering the general time period when Da 5 Bloods’ flashbacks take place (see the final chunk of Malcolm X and Black KkKlansman)/ Still, as the filmmaker informed Indiewire, clearly he’s hit on something particularly special with this latest feature.
It may have been a long wait, but for those of you who have followed along with Lee’s career for years, he’s finally delivered his Vietnam War flick. Fortunately, Da 5 Bloods being met with a lot of positive reception from critics and the general public alike, as well as arrives at a time when the United States finds itself embroiled in protests condemning systemic racism.
Among the other praised elements of Da 5 Bloods, are the performances, particularly from Delroy Lindo. The Good Fight actor plays Paul, one of the title characters, who suffers from PTSD and must confront his inner demons as he and his brother-in-arms, as well as his son David, embark on their dangerous journey. In the days since Da 5 Bloods was released to the public, there’s been a lot of social media campaigning for Lindo to get an Oscar nomination for this role.