This Spike Lee film examines the life of an aspiring actress in New York. She is upset by the treatment of women in the movie industry during one of her screen tests with 'QT'. Out of work ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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Let the Church Roll on
Written by James Cleveland
used by permission of Screen Gems-EMI Music, Inc., BMI
Performed by Mahalia Jackson
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing See more »
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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