“Dis joint is based upon some fo’ real, fo’ real sh*t”
Genre(s): Biography, Crime, Drama
Director: Spike Lee
Written By: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
Length: 2h 15min
Release Date: 2018
Based loosely on a true story, Ron Stallworth (played by Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington) is the first black detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department during the early 1970s. Stallworth initially worked in the records room where he was ridiculed daily by white co-workers, but never allowed this to hinder his attitude as he carried on to prove himself to the force. Not content with his current position, he requested to go undercover and infiltrate a local rally headed by Stokely Carmichael, a former Black Panther, to gather entail on the latter’s call for revolution. The rally amounted to nothing but angry words and Stallworth was then reassigned to the intelligence division.
Answering a newspaper ad for placed by the Ku Klux Klan, Stallworth begins his next infiltration mission posing as a white man that hates all Blacks, Hispanics, Jews and anyone else that dares to threaten the safety of white Americans. With his colleague, Flip, the two tackle the organization from within, making their way to the head of the KKK, David Duke.
While handling very sensitive topics, BlacKkKlansman still manages to be both funny and witty without betraying its core themes. Spike Lee takes every opportunity he has to mock the KKK, showcasing how foolish various members in the organization are. The racist dialogue bellowed from white supremacists, while crude and disturbing, successfully paints the perfect image of these hateful and dangerous groups of people and I loved it all. Everything about this film is genuine and is not afraid to hold anything back.
The story keeps you on your toes through the long fascinating ride and never lets up. At every turn, Lee does his absolute best to keep you engaged, whether it’s through the friendship between Ron and Flip or the stupendous amount of tension the actors bring to the table.
Let’s not forget the music, and oh man, the music. The soundtrack is phenomenal and matches the movie perfectly. I listened to the score immediately after I finished. My favorite track of the film is Too Late to Turn Back Now.
BlacKkKlansman is a perfect return to form for director Spike Lee and is both a huge win for him and for us, the audience that desperately needed such a movie in this political climate. Lee even ends it all with chilling snippets of 2017’s Unite the Right Rally, displaying the horrific acts committed during those few days.
I look forward to seeing where Spike Lee goes next with a hope it will be just as good, if not better, than this film.