The Movie: Do the Right Thing (1989)
What Is It?: On the hottest day of the year, racial tensions in Bed-Stuy boil through the thermostat. Spike Lee bravely refuses to offer pat answers to serious questions about the right thing to do in the face of gross injustice and he never flinches from showing the ugly face behind the mask of “racial tolerance.” He’s also great as our hero Mookie, but the most uncomfortably convincing performance comes from Danny Aiello, who apparently is more like his character than you might want to believe.
Why Today?: According to the New York Times, this was the hottest day of 1989 to date.