“Let me tell you a story,” Spike Lee recently told Vanity Fair. “The United States Armed Forces came close to being torn apart when black soldiers heard that Dr. [Martin Luther] King was assassinated. They also heard that their brothers and sisters were tearing shit up in over 100 cities across America. The tipping point came very close; the black soldiers were getting ready to set it off in Vietnam—and not against the Vietcong either.”
This is key context for Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, a new film from the BlacKkKlansman filmmaker that stars Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. as veterans of the Vietnam War who return to the country 50 years later in search of the remains of their fallen squadron leader. Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman stars as that soldier in flashbacks, which are then intercut with, as Vanity Fair puts it, “interstitial cutaways highlighting a history of black valor seldom taught in schools.”
But that’s still only scratching the surface of the genre-hopping film, which also weaves in a treasure hunt, musings on global gentrification, and nods to our modern political landscape—Lindo’s character is, per Lee, “a MAGA-hat-wearing motherfucker.”
Watch the trailer below.
Jean Reno, Jonathan Majors, and Paul Walter Hauser round out the cast of Da 5 Bloods, which storms onto Netflix on June 12.