Hot off a win at the Academy Awards comes Spike Lee’s short film with Coach, starring the actor Michael B. Jordan. The filmmaker snagged his long overdue Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay on BlacKkKlansman – vital recognition at a time when Hollywood is coming to terms with reality about its endemic racist systems.
Riding that wave comes “Words Matter”, a project by Lee starring Jordan. It’s a short treat, rich in its depiction of dusty Americana wayfaring and a little poetic metaphors thrown in the middle. In it, Jordan – in a damn good leather biker jacket – travels a dusty landscape not far from the ones imagined by the brand’s creative director Stuart Vevers.
He is stopped along this journey by some rocks scattered on the ground, scrawled and written with negative words. Hatred, bigotry, evil and lies, among them. Jordan makes a choice: he rewrites these stones – a scant portion of the vast landscape – but leaves behind a better mark on the ground he’s walked. Courage, truth, love, and dreams, as it were.
This is, surprisingly, the first time Jordan and Lee have worked together. Jordan described his time working with the iconic director as an “inspirational experience”, adding that: “Spike’s art has moved the cultural dial for decades. I’m proud of the powerful messaging of this
film and to be working alongside a brand that cares about putting that narrative into the world as much as I do.”
Coach is using the film to start a conversation around the power of words, and their effect on today’s values of inclusivity, optimism and courage. It’s a simple message, but that’s bolstered by the visual romanticism of the film and the simple beauty of Michael B. Jordan in a leather jacket atop a motorcycle.