Race relations in the United States has always been something that Hollywood and films has turned to for stories. Whether they are looking at the Civil War or the civil rights movement. This time out it is a look at the true story (based on his book) of African-American police detective Ron Stallworth’s attempt to take down the KKK in his town of Colorado Springs.
When you learn of the subject of the film you readily admit that there is no other director better equiped to make an atypical film about this subject than the incomparable Spike Lee (Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing). He also has the comfort of having the producing team of the recent Jordan Peele film Get Out behind him. No American director has forged his own style and vision like Lee. Though he is not without his foibles, Lee certain is up to this particular task.
Within the Colorado Springs Police Department Ron Stallworth (John David Washington – from television’s Ballers) is the first African-American police detective. This happens in the early 1970s. Trying to make his mark and earn the respect of his fellow officers, Ron decides to take on a dangerous undercover assignment. He is going to attempt to infiltrate and expose the local division of the Ku Klux Klan.
In order to do so he is going to enlist the help of more experience fellow detective Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver – Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, Inside Llewyn Davis). In face-to-face encounters with the KKK, Flip will pretend to be Ron. He will even come in contact with David Duke (Topher Grace – from television’s That 70s Show). The two detectives will work together to take the insidious group down before it is able to gain mainstream appeal.
Though there is a really strong story in here the way in which Spike Lee decided to go at it didn’t really work in my opinion. Though it was rather muddled, which is pretty typical of a Spike Lee film, there were plenty of instances of humour usage which were bang on. A wise move to use humour to offset all the inherent distastefulness of this story.
It is a film about race relations in the U.S., but issues such as anti-semetism and sexism are also brought up. The whole topic of discrimination in many forms and human interaction is looked at under Spike Lee’s lens.
-A Spike Lee Joint
-Blackkkklansman Extended Trailer Featuring Prince’s “Mary Don’t You Weep”