Spike Lee's first feature, shot in 12 days on a budget of $175,000, was a critical and commercial dynamo that put its filmmaker on the map and initiated a new era of African-American cinema.
Tracy Camila Johns plays Nola Darling, a young woman refreshingly open and comfortable about her sexuality, who weighs the merits of her three very different lovers (including Lee himself in his scene-stealing, feature-acting debut as “Mars Blackmon”). Lee’s collaboration with cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, a film school colleague who went on to shoot Lee’s next five features, resulted in a strikingly confident black-and-white visual style. She’s Gotta Have It also boasts a lively jazz score by Lee’s father, veteran musician Bill Lee.
1986, 84 minutes, black and white, 35mm | Written and directed by Spike Lee; with Tracy Camila Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, Spike Lee, Raye Dowell.