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USA 1986
Directed by
Spike Lee
84 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

She's Gotta Have It

Spike Lee's first feature release shot in fifteen days on a budget of $175,000 was a groundbreaking film, the first  made by black people for black people and showing Afro-America not as the pimps and whores of the blaxploitation films of the '70s but rather middle class metrosexuals. That's something but this achievement ultimately stands because of Lee’s bodacious talent and the élan of his film.

The story, about  an independent-mind black Brooklyn woman (Tracy Camilla Johns) with three boyfriends (one of them, Mars Blackmon being payed by Lee), all of whom want her to commit to them exclusively is slight, the performances are uneven but the film is certainly worth-watching for anyone interested in Lee’s film-making beginnings including his first collaboration with cinematographer Ernest Dickerson and his composer father, Bill Lee.

Although Lee’s strategy of shooting the film documentary-style with characters addressing the camera directly is nothing special these days it was a breath of fresh air back then and the film was a huge hit, grossing $7m theatrically




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