A group of black men from different backgrounds learn from each other
and bond while on a bus trip to Washington D.C. for the Million Man March.
Get on the Bus (1996)
Directed by Spike Lee
Written by Reggie Rock Bythewood
Starring Charles S. Dutton, Roger Guenveur Smith, Ossie Davis, Andre Braugher, Harry Lennix, Thomas Jefferson Byrd,
De'aundre Bonds, Isaiah Washington, Gabriel Casseus,
Hill Harper, Bernie Mac, Richard Belzer
Get on the Bus may be the most endearing and positive movie that Spike Lee has ever done. It's the story of a group of black men traveling on a bus from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. for the famous 1995 Million Man March. These men don't know one another and at first, there's a lot of animosity. But over the course of the drive, they learn from each other and create a bond of brothers over the ideals that made them get on the bus. Lee doesn't oversaturate the film with his trademark style, opting instead for a traditional approach, which I think helps the film.
Some of our passengers are Flip (Braugher), a narcissistic, homophobic aspiring actor, Randall (Lennix) and Kyle (Washington), a gay couple on the verge of a breakup, Evan (Byrd) and his son (Bonds), who are having some communication issues, Jeremiah (Davis), an elderly man with big dreams, and Gary (Smith), a half-white cop who can't quite connect to the same level of black experience. Together, these men, along with some others, learn the value and strength of brotherhood and connect with one another over the course of the film. The performances are all great, and the story is engaging and thought-provoking.
Get on the Bus is a smart way of telling a story about the Million Man March. It focuses on a small group of black strangers who are brought together through their love of their community and their desire for black unity. Spike Lee continuously proves throughout his career his strength at telling black stories, and his talent at focusing those stories on one small group that represent larger and lofty ideals. His stories are humanizing, when done right, and this one was certainly done right.