Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing. For the Obamas, it’s an easy way to keep track of how long they’ve been together, because they watched the movie on their “first official date” back when they were working at the same law firm in Chicago. Spike Lee played their video message at two events yesterday — first at a block party in Bedford-Stuyvesant (that included appearances by Dave Chappelle, Public Enemy’s Chuck D, and Erykah Badu), and then at a screening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Read the banter below:
Michelle: Do the Right Thing was actually the first thing we saw together on our first official date.
Barack: We’d eaten lunch at the Art Institute of Chicago, gone for a little walk, and then I took her to this new movie everybody was talking about directed by a guy that not that many people had heard of. But it was supposed to be pretty good.
Michelle: He was trying to show me his sophisticated side by selecting an independent filmmaker and it ended up being a pretty good movie — really great!
Barack: So Spike, thank you for helping me impress Michelle, and thank you for telling a powerful story. Today, I’ve got a few more grey hairs than I did back in 1989. You don’t look like Mookie anymore. But Do the Right Thing still holds up a mirror to our society, and it makes us laugh and think and challenges all of us to see ourselves in one another.
Michelle: It’s really a testament to your vision and to everyone who helped you make this movie possible, including the great Ruby Dee, who we will remember always. So congratulations, Spike! And we hope you all have a great time!
The full, not HD-quality video can be seen here: