By Hipolito Munoz, Managing Editor/Publisher
We hear about the genius of Spike Lee quite often. He is heard in high regard and he is also expected to deliver breakthrough stories as a norm. I was a bit reluctant to watch the new episodic on Netflix, She’s Gotta Have It, loosely based on his original 1986 film, the setting is certainly Brooklyn, his muse, but updated for a different time, though not so different.
For some reason I had resisted watching it and after watching the pilot episode I was wondering why, how and annoyed, then I watched it again. Mr. Lee knows how to tell stories his way, in such a way that you will either fully embrace the story, or that you really want to like the story because well, it’s a Spike Lee Joint, and I want to say I watched the whole series. Then I began to see the complexity of Nola Darling, a young woman who is making this world her own. It has a mature rating so, unfortunately, many of the strong commentaries will be missed by those that need to hear them the most. A strong woman, living her life as she can, trying to fully drink from the fountain of opportunities her loving parents strived to create for her, it is a family program with an adult rating. The situations she falls into do not forgive her; they test her and leave her changed and aware of her struggling artist situation and her vulnerability as a woman.
Through his masterly crafted episodes he tackles all the issues that affect the poor communities, including public school funding, well isn’t that ground breaking! He dares to address the issue that would begin to provide equity for all the folks that are part of every community. He is not shy about also showcasing some of the issues that these children deal with through Nola’s discussion about the importance of the arts. Sadly that this is so innovative, not unique, but in order to add this to a story line, one must care and also have insight into the world of k-12 education, kudos to Spike.
“She’s Gotta Have It,” is very much its creator’s product. It is Spike Lee and I encourage you to watch it if you are old enough and brave enough.