Spike Lee's latest film tells the story of 15 black men on their way to the Million Man March in Washington, DC from Los Angeles.
This is not so much the story of the March as it is the story of 15 men attempting to come to grips with what it means to be male and black in 1990s America. It is actually several stories, vingettes of the lives of these men and how they experience their maleness and their blackness. There are several themes intervowen into the major theme, black men taking charge of their own lives.
There is the story of two male lovers and what it means to be gay in the black community. There is the story of a father and son creating a relationship with each other after many years of estrangement. There is the story of the "bi-racial" police officer who is not treated as a brother officer by Tennessee state troopers who stop the bus to see if anyone on board is carrying narcotics. There is the interaction between the men on the bus and the temporary white Jewish bus driver.
I found the acting and the directing to be riveting. Certain tangental aspects of the film disturbed me, among them the associations with Louis Farrakan and the allusions to black-Jewish tensions. In spite pf these however, I enjoyed the film.
There are excellent performances by Richard Belzer, Andre Braugher, Ossie Davis, and Charles S. Dutton.
The film was financed by a group of investors including Danny Glover, Wesley Snipes, Will Smith, and Johnnie Cochran.
The film's running time is 122 minutes.