Spike Lee's take on the "Son of Sam" murders in New York City during the summer of 1977 centering on the residents of an Italian-American Northeast Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another.
A successful and married black man contemplates having an affair with a white girl from work. He's quite rightly worried that the racial difference would make an already taboo relationship even worse.Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw Jungle Fever for the first time years ago, when it first came out on video. By the movie's end, I was lost. Part of it may have been maturity - I was in junior high - and part of it was that the movie I was sold was not the movie I got. Part of this selling is Stevie Wonder's title song, which frequently finds its way into my tapedeck. And the kind of color-blind love Wonder sings about is not the relationship in this movie. Something I feel now as I felt then was that the film does not let us get close to these people, let us see them in love. Only now do I realize that this is because the film is not about two people in love. When I first saw it, I thought the film was advocating segregation from the "other side." Now I realize that it just showing the complexity of issues which come to play when a black person and white person from separatist neighborhoods come together, and mostly how those environments are changed. There are things to overcome, but this relationship will not overcome them. I am still puzzled by the rather large subplot involving Samuel L. Jackson as Wesley Snipes's crackhead brother and by the final shot where Wesley Snipes clutches a crack-whore to himself and screams "NO!" while the camera rushes from halfway across Harlem to end in a close-up on him. It's indelible - most of what has stuck with me about this movie over time involves this subplot and that shot - but I am still puzzled by its intention in the overall scheme of what the film is trying to say. Something about the endless problems facing black people?
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