One of Spike Lee’s greatest talents, other than his uncanny knack of directing riveting stories about people of color is his ability to create strong visual opening sequences for many of his films. One of his finest jobs was the opening sequence for his epic film, “Malcolm X.”
Opening with an introduction of Malcolm X, Lee intersperse footage of the Rodney King beating with an American Flag. With the passionate address by Malcolm who “charges the white man,” the American flag is ignited and burns into the shape of an “X,” while King gets savagely beaten by the LAPD. With Terrence Blanchard’s trumpet blaring, Malcolm exclaims, “we don’t see any American dream, we’ve experienced only the American nightmare!”
To this day, this scene still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand to attention – just brilliant!