BlacKKKlansman – “A Real Spike Lee Joint”

From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It’s the early 1970s, and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.

The young detective soon recruits a more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), into the undercover investigation of a lifetime. Together, they team up to take down the extremist hate group as the organization aims to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream. Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award® winning Get Out.

Review

“The Chairman” – The way the world is going at the moment, I was personally worried that BlacKKKlansman might be a bit heavy-handed with its portrayal of the Klan and just the idea of race in America. I can say that I was pleasantly surprised, BlacKKKlansman is an excellent movie. It tackles a topical and sensitive subject of race with the care it deserves. A return to form for Spike Lee.

The message I got from movie is that while the discussion of race and relations between races is important we shouldn’t be discussing these topics in an echo chamber even if you are right and maybe especially if you are right. The topic of race should be discussed openly between people without the fear of reprisals.

The things I liked about the movie:

  • John David Washington – If the Washington family were a dynasty, John is a worthy heir to the throne. Denzel would be proud. His portrayal of an upstart police officer in an all-white department is award-worthy. His character is conflicted between two worlds. On one his treated like every other black person at the time and the other he is mistrusted by his fellow blacks because of his job. He has an ingrained sense of duty which drives him.
  • Topher Grace – I don’t know if this is a good thing but his take on the Grand Wizard David Duke is scarily spot-on.  He captures David’s charismatic personality in a magnificent performance.

blackkklansman-129510

Things I didn’t like:

  • The use of humour – While I feel that levity is welcome in a movie to break a tense moment, the way it is used when dealing with the Klan has the unintended consequence of humanising people who should be treated with extreme distain.

So my verdict is this is a must-see movie that is Spike Lee’s best movie since “Do the right thing”. It deserves every bit of this rating, 9/10.

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