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BlacKkKlansman is Spike Lee's Timely Masterpiece

By Joan Alperin

Adam Driver and John David Washington
© 2018 Focus Featurs LLC. All rights reserved.

Spike Lee's brilliant, powerful and extremely timely BlacKkKlansman, is one of the most important films of 2018.

This is the true story of an American hero, Ron Stallworth (the incredible John David Washington), who became the first African-American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department in the 1970's. At first, Ron is greeted with hostility and skepticism by the Department's rank and file. Undaunted, Stallworth resolves to make a name for himself and a difference in his community. He bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.

Topher Grace
© 2018 Focus Featurs LLC. All rights reserved.
Posing as a racist extremist, Stallworth contacts the group by phone and soon finds himself invited into its inner circle. He even cultivates a relationship with the Klan's Grand Wizard, David Duke (the excellent Topher Grace), who praises Ron's commitment to the advancement of White America.

With the help of his fellow colleague, Flip Zimmerman (the wonderful Adam Driver), who poses as Ron in a face-to-face meeting with members of the Klan, he not only gains their trust, but knowledge of a deadly plot they are planning.

This is a film that everyone needs to see. At times, it's hard to watch, particularly when the Klansman spew their hatred. No matter how many times you see this kind of behavior, it's hard to fathom that people can be so lacking in humanity.

John David Washington and Laura Harrier
© 2018 Focus Featurs LLC. All rights reserved.

Everyone in the cast is excellent, including Alec Baldwin, who opens the film as Beauregard/Narrator. But one of the most profound moments involves Harry Belafonte as Jerome Turner, who recounts the lynching of Jesse Washington that he witnessed as a young man.

BlacKkKlansman won the Grand Prix award at Cannes and it's obvious why. Lee said he hopes this film helps to make Trump a one-term President and from the way he chose to end this incredible epic, there's a good chance this just might help.

On a final note, David Duke actually called Stallworth and asked him to go easy on how he's portrayed in the film. I guess even bigots sometimes get embarrassed by their horrific behavior.

BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee and written by Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott, is based on the book by Ron Stallworth.  It opens in theaters Friday, August 10th. If you see only one film this year, make it this one.

Posted By Joan Alperin on August 08, 2018 01:15 pm | Permalink