The latest in Spike Lee’s Chronicles of Brooklyn anthology–which also includes “She’s Gotta Have It” (1986), “Do The Right Thing” (1989), “Crooklyn” (1994), “Clockers” (1995), and “He Got Game” (1998)–RED HOOK SUMMER tells the story of Flik Royale (Jules Brown), a sullen young boy from middle-class Atlanta who has come to spend the summer with his deeply religious grandfather,Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters), in the housing projects of Red Hook. Having never met before, things quickly get off on the wrong foot as Bishop Enoch relentlessly attempts to convert Flik into a follower of Jesus Christ. Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of inner-city life, Flik’s summer appears to be a total disaster–until he meets Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith), a pretty girl his age, who shows Flik the brighter side of Brooklyn. Through her love and the love of his grandfather, Flik begins to realize that the world is a lot bigger, and perhaps a lot better, than he’d ever imagined.
Lee has openly discussed his pride surrounding his status as an independent filmmaker. At Sundance, he said:
“We never went to the studios with this film, I told you!” he shouted. “We said, ‘Were gonna do this motherfucking film ourselves and show it at Sundance…. This whole thing was planned out.” Of the studios, he added, “They know nothing about black people. And they gonna give me notes about what a young black boy and girl gonna do in Red Hook? Fuck no! We had to do it ourselves!”
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