Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Your appreciation of Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus will likely depend on whether you’re familiar with the movie Lee is remaking, Bill Gunn’s low-budget cult classic Ganja & Hess (1973). If you are, Lee’s remake is a must-see; if not, you should probably skip it. Lee follows the original so closely that Gunn, who died in 1989, gets cowriting credit. Jesus is so faithful to Ganja that Lee even replicates some of the original movie’s more amateurish qualities; the pacing goes slack on occasion, the sets are noticeably underdressed, and the acting is all over the map. This isn’t just a tribute to Gunn but a commentary on independent filmmaking today, though watching it without knowing its source material might feel like listening to one end of a conversation. Continue reading >>