Director: Spike Lee
Leading Actors: Spike Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Giancarlo Esposito, John Turturro
NYC Neighborhoods Featured: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Swinging 180 degrees away from the claustrophobic worldview of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, we arrive at Do the Right Thing, a polyvocal revelation of a film, shot on a single block in Bed-Stuy. The cinematography and art design create a space just left of reality—slightly larger, just slightly more heated—that forces the audience to engage with the tension of urban life, of living on top of so many different sorts of people, anew. Though there's ample talk of a possible post-racial, post-gender, post-whatever world in 2012, we have to contend with the beauty, comedy, and horror of what we've got. Even 23 years its release, Do the Right Thing remains the most immediate and alive exploration of life in the simmering melting pot. —BG