I found the movie Do the Right Thing to be an interesting perspective on racial tensions in our society. Although I've never really experienced the kinds of interactions depicted in the movie, I feel like it is a good thing to examine and think about (as others have obviously done, as per the class reading).
When we watch movies, we try and pick out characters that are the good guys and bad guys. In this movie I found it interesting that there were different perspectives with different main characters. I felt like we had a special relationship with the pizza delivery boy (I forgot his name) since he was the first character we spend time watching and learning about. But even with that it became clear that there are more main characters that play just as central a role. Another thing related to this is that we have a hard time picking out bad guys. Every character had their own flaws.
One of the big things that causes tensions to rise in the movie is that everyone had their own idea of what freedom was (we discussed this in class but I found it very interesting and compelling). Who really has the right idea of freedom? Everyone wants to be "free," but they want to be free in their own sense of the word. It makes me question if the characters in the movie (or real life) can ever really be happy, or even free. Can we be happy being free in someone else's sense of the word? If I use the beginning of the movie when tensions were high as an example of life, I would say everyone won't be happy being someone else's "free."
I also have to say that I don't think this is an accurate portrayal of actual experiences. If anything, I would classify as a hyperbolized compilation of actual experiences. That is to say, I think these are all possible scenarios for a neighborhood to experience, but I think they are all separate examples merged into one exaggerated super conflict. Does this result in a less powerful message? I don't think so. I think sometimes the best lessons are learned in extreme circumstances. So although the story is a little stretched, it is a meaningful watch and even if you didn't like the movie you can get something out of it.