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Da 5 Bloods and Cross-Generational Trauma

Season 1, Ep. 65

Today’s episode covers Spike Lee’s new film Da 5 Bloods which follows four black GIs returning to Vietnam nearly five decades after their tours ended to recover gold and the remains of their former captain. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned and chaos ensues.


The film releases with impeccable timing as the nation continues to grapple with social unrest in present day. The war scenes take place during 1968’s “Summer of Love” when all Hell broke loose for Black Americans after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Lee uses that eerie parallel to show that things have not changed as much as would like to believe. 


Da 5 Bloods is available now on Netflix.


Episode breakdown, with timestamps:


0:42 - Initial thoughts 

4:46 - Themes and the leading character, Paul as played by Delroy Lindo

10:10 - Vietnam War footage and previous Hollywood war films

16:22 - What is the purpose of the gold?

19:30 - The ‘mythic’ Stormin’ Norman, ‘Black rage’ in 2020, and Black Lives Matter

25:00 - Dodging the Vietnam War

26:50 - Character arcs for the the Black GIs

36:20 - The choice not to de-age characters during Vietnam War scenes

42:10 - Additional strengths and weaknesses of the film

44:16 - Stormin’ Norman’s fate

51:15 - Give Delroy Lindo all the awards


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