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“Jungle Fever” 20 Years Later…

"Jungle Fever" 20 Years Later...

WOW! Times really does fly by! It was exactly 20 years ago – June 7, 1991 – that Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever first opened. Made at the time when Spike was THE director of the moment, and a film, like other films that Spike made during that period, which had its staunch defenders and detractors.

Personally it was the first film where I really noticed Spike’s tendency to crank up the music REALLY LOUD so it’s hard to hear what people are saying, and for his actors to overact. But despite those minor problems, like any good film, it’s one that still resonates and perhaps is more relevant today then it was back then; especially with all this endless talk and articles about black women unable to find good black men, and those who are losing them to white women. It might have been an issue 20 years ago, but now it’s REALLY a big issue.

And just look at the people in the film – Samuel L. Jackson, back then a unknown struggling actor who had just fought his own drug addiction and who knocked out people with his performance as Wesley Snipes’ crackhead brother. Who knew he would go on to make 15, 578 movies since then?

Then there was that young unknown actress making her feature film debut, playing Jackson’s crackhead girlfriend, Halle something or other. Whatever happened to her? And by the way, what ever happened to Lonette McKee who played Snipes’ long suffering wife?

As for Snipes, well all we know where he currently is…unfortunately. Life sure takes some unexpected turns along the way doesn’t it?

So what are your feelings about the film? I still think it’s one of Spike’s best, but does it still hold up for you or has its luster worn off for some of you over the years.

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