BlacKkKlansman a Humorous Look at the Past and a Sobering Look at our Present.

Source: 
K Gerard Thomas

Spike Lee has had a difficult time at the box office of late even a critically acclaimed film director can hit a dry spell, his last large feature-length motion picture “Chi- Raq “released in 2016 did not draw the audiences to the theater like his prior hits “Do the Right Thing”Malcolm X” and “School Days”.  

 

BlacKkKlansman may just be the film that introduces millennials and Gen Z moviegoers to Spike Lee’s informative and artistic style of storytelling, that cause one to leave the theater more aware and educated than when they walked into the theater.

 

The film stars John David Washington who plays Ron Stallworth the first black police officer hired by the Colorado Springs Police Department, he is treated as most would imagine, some of his fellow officers were not happy with his presence on the force and treated him disrespect.

 

He is given an assignment to infiltrate University of Colorado Black Student Union hosted speech by Civil Rights activist Kwame Ture (Corey Hawkins) while at the event he meets the president of the BSU Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier) who is his challenging love interest due to her own disdain for law enforcement and her staunch commitment to black activism.

 

By mere consequence, Ron decides to call a Ku Klux Klan recruiting ad in a newspaper.  what prompted Stallworth to make the call was the constant bombardments of racial attacks he received by his fellow officers and his prior assignment to spy on the BSU.    

 

The town has seen a rise in racial tension and students from the BSU are having activates that caught the attention of the Klan, He speaks to a member of the local chapter Walter Breachway (Ryan Eggold) on the phone and convinces him to set up a meeting with the members of the chapter.

 

 Stallworth gets permission from his chief to set up the sting and Stallworth recruits his fellow officer Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) to meet the Klan members in his stead, detective Flip who meets with Klan members is now put in a world of hate toward not just African Americans but his own Jewish heritage.  The film main antagonist is Klan member Felix Kendrickson (Jasper Paakkonen) who is itching for a race war, and is not trusting of Flip as the other members are.

 

The stress of the assignment was getting to both Flip and Ron and to speed things up Ron decided to land the big fish and make a call to Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace) to request his card for membership. 

 

The humorist moments are overshadowed by the disgustingly raw imagery and language used by the white supremacist to describe how they viewed nonwhite Americans and in order for Stallworth to convince the Klan members he is one of them he has to use the same language over the phone. 

 

STALLWORTH: "I hate blacks, I hate Jews, Mexicans, and Irish. Italians and Chinese. But my mouth to God's ears, I really hate those black rats and anyone else really that doesn't have pure white Aryan blood running through their veins."
DUKE: "I'm happy to be talking to a real white American!"
STALLWORTH: "God bless white Americans!"

 

With a Spike Lee film there is always a Wake-Up! a moment, he educates his audience on historical moments in our nation even those we are currently living in, a sobering moment in the film is what I would call a tale of two stories.

 

Entertainment Icon and Civil rights activist Harry Belafonte makes a cameo appearance and tells a very moving story of a lynching while at the same time the Klan is inducting Stallworth and others into the chapter, and later a celebration of the D.W. Griffith racist film The Birth of A Nation a film that caused a dying Klan organization to have a reassurance.  

 

We now live in a nation where the president of the United States has more in common with David Duke who is a big fan of the current president and Fox News host Laura Ingraham who both has expressed the same sentiment as Duke in regards to nonwhite citizens.

 

As in other Spike Lee films he takes a moment to bring us back to reality it is not a film simply written to entertain but to educate the audience I call it Edutainment, the film has a current event look into our nation today and how the Charlottesville incident a year ago is not a through back to the past but could happen again in the present and the future…if people don’t   Wake UP!  

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