“A teeming showcase of invigorating performances.” - Richard Brody, New Yorker

“A college musical comedy with a conscience; beneath the hijinks lies a bleeding heart for those suffering under apartheid in South Africa.” - Jourdain Searles, Thrillist

In the prescient, bold SCHOOL DAZE, Laurence Fishburne plays Dap, a socially conscious student at the fictional HBCU Mission College. When an anti-apartheid protest he is leading is interrupted by his friend Julian’s (Giancarlo Esposito) fraternity, and Mission’s board of trustees get antsy about Dap’s call for divestment from South Africa, tensions of power, race, and social responsibility rise to a fever pitch. Spike Lee loves an ending. The final shot of DO THE RIGHT THING pulls up and away from the Brooklyn street we’ve lived on for the last two hours; in SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, the cast breaks the fourth wall with a wink and a smile. With SCHOOL DAZE, Lee concludes with a fourth wall break again, imploring the audience—as he’s been doing the whole film (and his whole career)—to wake up, wake up, wake up.

Awards & Nominations

Nominee - Image Award, Outstanding Motion Picture, Image Awards (NAACP)

Last ShotStick the landing. Bring it home. Finish strong. In cinema, the last shot is arguably the most important. “This is it, this is the final moment, it is perfect!” only to have it go on, stumbling and fumbling its way to the credits? For all those missed opportunities, there are also the pitch-perfect conclusions, the memorable last looks, the frames that catch your breath in your throat and with pure artistry not only conclude a film but underscore, emphasize, or affirm the entire running time that came before it. Our 11-film Last Shot series explores impeccable resolutions in film. View full Last Shot series. *Spoiler alert: the endings of all films in this series are mentioned (as subtly as possible) in their description, and the accompanying still images do not reflect their final frames.

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu