By Jessica Jones, Contributor
[40 Acres & A Mule; 2018]
If you’re a fan of Spike Lee’s dramas and love politically charged comedies, buckle up and get ready for his newest film, BlacKkKlansman. The movie is based on the true story written by Ron Stallworth, one of a few black police officers in Colorado Springs during the heat of the 1970s Civil Rights Movement. With the help of a fellow officer, Ron Stallworth successfully infiltrates and becomes a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The movie chronicles the 9-month investigation led by the Colorado Springs Police Department in 1978.
After a powerful opening sequence, showing a recreation of a Confederate battlefield and a surprise cameo posing as a member of the KKK, our story begins with Ron Stallworth, played by David John Washington (son of Denzel Washington). Ron gets word that a Black Panther activist is in town and is told to go undercover to check it out, where he meets a student activist named Patrice (Laura Harrier). After learning that the KKK is planning an attack in town, Ron sees an ad in the paper for the KKK and requests more information, posing as a white man who hates everyone who isn’t white. By having detective Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) pose as a white Ron Stallworth, they’re able to spy on a local chapter of the KKK.
BlacKkKlansman is full of groovy 70s vibes and has a bangin’ soundtrack to match. Lee’s signature directing style shines through, with unique angles and a beautiful Vertigo effect shot at the end. If you’re a sucker for cinematography, then you’ll love the colorful dance scenes and the hauntingly tense KKK meetings. This brilliant adaptation (hellooo Best Adapted Screenplay) highlights the the events that occured to the real life Ron Stallworth, not straying much from fact.
The main qualm with this film is that the ending of the main story was relatively anti-climatic. After a climactic action scene, the story just kinda ends. In real life, the investigation abruptly ended with no arrests, due to the Police Department fearing the public wouldn’t think highly of having officers attending KKK meetings so frequently. Understanding that producer Jordan Peele didn’t want to divert too much from the original story, it makes sense it ended this way. If you were looking forward to seeing a bunch of racists getting what they really deserve, then sadly, you’re watching the wrong film.
However, the overall ending to this film was so incredibly powerful, it’ll leave you feeling shook to the core. Cut to the dark reality of our current political climate which is slammed in the viewers face, with video of Trump calling them “very nice people” and Grand Wizard David Duke praising Trump. The ending? Some fo’ real shit. If you need anymore reasons to go see this film, let this be it.
Watch the trailer here: