Do The Right Thing by Spike Lee

From Teachers’ Resource Web –

A Scene-by-Scene Breakdown of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989) with Study Questions

PS: Take notes if possible while you watch the film. I strongly suggest that you see the movie twice.

Discussion Questions for Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989)

**Please read these questions before you watch the film

1) What’s the importance of the film’s references to “heat”? In responding, consider the phrases in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Malcolm X’s references to the racial climate or mood in 1960’s America.

2) What do you know about Radio Raheem’s favorite rap group, Public Enemy? In what way are the group’s lyrics in “Fight the Power” appropriate to the movie? What is “the Power” in the context of the film, and how does one fight it?

3) Follow the treatment of Radio Raheem throughout the film. Why is it oddly predictable that he is the character who ends up dead by the end of the film?

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LMA / LVA – Panic Broadcast!

Bac notion : Idea of Progress ( POwer / Spaces? )

Nature of this doc?

old recording / radio broadcast / in 1938

Orson Welles adapted and reads his version of the story called War of the Worlds by HGWells (1898)

What is it about?

it takes place in the US, it is about a Martians space invasion of the US.

It imitates the style of WW2 news bulletins.

As a result, people panicked.

Facts / Fiction?

Fiction > story deals with aliens .

Facts > radio show / create panic / really happened in 1938.

the story becomes real > panic in the book is taking place in reality.

People’s reactions?

Many people were ‘on the razor’s edge’ > scared already because of the Munich crisis / the world was on the brink of war

1938 > previews / shows the power of fear / the power of the radio

( propaganda)

fled / took their guns

Context to explain people’s reactions?

everyone had a radio / everyone was scared of a German invasion / Welles imitates / duplicates the style of other war news



LMA – LVA The Idea of Progress – Oral Interview method + example.

Terminale L Bac Interview method

– What you will show your jury:

1 file that includes 2 notions.

For each notion select 2 documents studied in class + one personal document that you think illustrates the same notion.

With a clean presentation, no notes, no vocabulary.

1 file = 2 notions = (2 docs + 1 personal) x 2 = 6 documents.

– The jury chooses 1 notion.

– You prepare for 10 minutes.

– Write down your full intro and ccl. Prepare notes for your different parts.

Your intervention must be organized and must follow these steps:

1- Intro = define the notion + give your issue question + your plan. = 2minutes

Ex. “So I will talk about the idea of Progress. Progress is related to science and a positive move toward perfection or happiness. Yet we talk about the ‘idea’ of progress because not everyone agrees that progress has only good sides or not everyone benefits from progress. My question today is: Does scientific progress guarantee a better future?

First I will talk about a text by Jodi Picoult which is taken from a novel called My Sister’s Keeper. I will compare this text to a science fiction film called Gattaca.

Then I will talk about a newspaper article dealing with the controversy around saviour siblings.

To conclude I will present a document I chose to illustrate this controversy.”

2- Prepare 2 or 3 coherent parts. = 6-8 minutes

  • Ex. PART 1 = How does fiction envision scientific progress? (docs: Gattaca / My Sister’s Keeper)
  • EX. PART 2 = Today’s controversy around saviour siblings. ( doc: Saviour Siblings article from the Journal of Medical Ethics)
  • EX. PART 3= How can we draw the line? / How can we protect ourselves from the ‘dangers’ of scientific progress? ( doc. Nuremberg trials and laws.)

Ex. PART 1 = How does fiction envision scientific progress? (docs: Gattaca / My Sister’s Keeper)

a) present the similarities between 2 documents from your file. (author, type, date, question raised…)

2 recent examples of fiction: movie and literature.

  • About scientific progress, genetics.
  • 2 heroes fighting for their future.

b) find positive arguments (Yes, progress guarantees a better future because… )

  • both docs show unbelievable scientific achievements. ( ex. l. 50. stem cell research. Designer babies… the science of tomorrow to save the children of today.// voice over Gattaca’s trailer “genetics. What can it mean? The ability to perfect the physical and mental characteristics of any unborn child.”)
  • elite team of astronauts in Gattaca / best baby to cure older sister > idea of perfection/ perfectly controlled world and generations.

c) find negative arguments ( No, progress doesn’t guarantee a better future because… )

  • both docs show a dark vision of our future. (ex. From text: “ l. 38 “ I wouldn’t even be alive, if it wasn’t for Kate being sick” // In the not too distant future, our DNA will determine everything about us/ saliva, a minute drop of blood, or a single hair determines where you can work, who you should marry, what you’re capable of achieving.’ )Both heroes struggle to have power over their future, they rebel against science.d) Conclude Part 1 :
  • EX “Gattaca is science fiction yet quite close to what’s happening now. On the other hand, My Sister’s keeper is fiction but quite realistic. Both documents illustrates hopes and fears about our future and how we should always weigh the pros and cons of scientific improvements.”

e) Find a transition for part 2:

Today’s controversy around saviour siblings.

( doc: Saviour Siblings article from the Journal of Medical Ethics

Ex. There’s a controversy today around IVF and saviour siblings. So I’ll now talk about …”

f) Prepare part 2.

  • the controversy
  • pros
  • cons

g) Draw your conclusion.

Are you in favour of Saviour Siblings? Why? Why not?

h) Prepare transition

i) Present your personal doc. (Part 3)

  • source / date / type / author
  • Explain how it illustrate your issue question.
  • Explain why you chose it.

3) Conclude.

Ex. “> (positive) So the idea of progress raises controversy especially in the scientific field. We mentioned two fictions and then 2 real and authentic documents that relate to the bright and dark sides of progress. We saw that science breakthroughs such as DNA research and saviour siblings could help us prevent death at a very young age and offer a bright future to sick children.

> ( negative) Yet the mastering of nature or “God’s Will” is very controversial. That’s why we need laws and safeguards. One of the most important safeguard in terms of scientific experiment was the Nuremberg Trial laws which I chose as a personal document. I truly believe we need to draft more laws to prevent unethical scientific experiments.

> To conclude on my idea of progress I would say that we benefit immensely from scientific discoveries but we should make sure science doesn’t determine entirely who we are or what our future will be like.”

4) Be ready to answer your jury’s questions.

5) even if LELE => preparation 10min + oral 10 min LVA/LV1 + 10 min conversation +  5 minutes LELE + 5 min conversation LELE. = total 30 minutes interview