Flaunt Magazine – There’s perhaps snakebites, landmines, trauma, and psychological cluster bombs to consider, but first, actor Melanie Thierry, who features in Spike Lee’s latest, Da 5 Bloods (Netflix), is talking about birdsong. And while the phenomena of birdsong round the world in a time of isolation and quarantine has become something of conversational de réserve, Thierry’s relationship to this uncanny candor from our avian pals in surrounds is unusual: her witness borne has been elective, not circumstantial. We had the opportunity to go to our house by the sea,” she says, thinking over the past several months, “but we preferred to stay in our apartment in Paris, just to be witnesses to what was happening in our town. It was a unique experience, and it was much stronger to live it in actuality.”
This is not a surprising stance for the French actor, who for the better of 20 years, has immersed herself in an acutely elective profession, a wealth of roles that demanded participation over observation. “It’s been very oppressive: one day you need a certificate in your pocket to go outside, you cannot bury your dead, and I was very worried for my parents, of course. But I was lucky, because I wasn’t in extreme solitude. I didn’t have to confront myself without people around me. And so, from my point of view, quarantine was tenderness with my family, and Paris without any planes. No motorhomes, no crowds of tourists, and it was like the pigeons of the city had taken control. The city became theirs.”
The reclamation of our cities by our cosmopolitan feathered friend—as the lion’s share of anxiety-inducing, metropolitan noise, exhaust, trappings, and hustle was suspended—serves an apropos pivot point for a prevailing theme in Da 5 Bloods: going back to get what’s yours. And it’s a Spike Lee Joint we’re talking about: a signature, prismatic blend of self-mythologizing, rawness, banter, wounds physical and metaphoric, and pride. As such, the reclamation in question is of the heavy-duty, no holds barred, fuck the history books variety, all set atop a postmodern, postcolonial, postwar jungle stage, that endeavors to reconcile the puppeteering strings of its past as much as it does the M-16 toting grandchildren of former Vietnamese soldiers, hot on Da Bloods’ trail, and hungry for a taste of that shimmering gold (more on that in a moment) as much as the next guy.