Connect with us

Art

Review: In ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ Legendary Director Spike Lee Wakes up America

A film that hits the country’s heart, mind, gut, and soul on race.

Duane Paul Murphy

Published

on

Director Spike Lee is back with his latest movie, which hit theaters almost one year after the Charlottesville Riots, and it has touched a nerve on race in America. “BlacKkKlansman” tells a true story about how Colorado Springs Police Department’s first African American police officer took down a local Ku Klux Klan group in the 1970s. It is based on the 2014 book “Black Klansman” by the officer himself, Ron Stallworth.

Born in Chicago, Ill. and raised in El Paso, Texas, Stallworth is portrayed by “Ballers” star John David Washington. Stallworth always wanted to be a police officer ever since his childhood.

In 1972, when he joined the community’s local police force, starting out in the dull records room. By the time he was promoted to the department’s hands-on intelligence division, he worked closely with detective Felip Zimmerman (played by “Girls” and “Star Wars” actor Adam Driver), to go undercover at various events.

They attend a Black Power gathering where Stokley Charmicale spoke, which was organized by Stallworth’s future girlfriend, Colorado College’s Black Student Union president Patrice Dumas, portrayed by “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and fashion model co-star Laura Harrier. When Stallworth discovered that the KKK was organized in Colorado Springs, he called up their leader and joined using his “white man sounding” voice, fooling the white supremacists.

But when he has to meet them in person in order to go undercover, Stallworth uses Zimmerman, a white Jewish man, to be himself. Throughout their investigation, they encounter David Duke, former grand wizard of the KKK, portrayed by Topher Grace who once starred in “That ’70s Show”.

Guest stars like civil rights icon Harry Belafonte and Lee’s unique film editing techniques transform the movie not only into a good old undercover crime dramedy, but also into a historical reflection of what has come onto us in the present and what could come to us in our future if nothing is done regarding longtime racial tensions.

From Alec Baldwin’s opening act as a bigot glorifying white Christian pride and demonizing non-white non-Christian presence, to the movie’s ending revisiting the recent death of the late Heather Hyer in Charlottesville as far-right white supremacists and far-left anti-fascists clashed on the streets, Lee does not hold in his views on the current state of the country.

Lee reflects how issues such as crime, welfare, immigration, and tax reform from the mid 20th century to today in the early 21st century are being used as code words for further disenfranchisement against the historically oppressed.

With Jordan Peele, the director of “Get Out”, as a producer, “BlacKkKlansman” is a bonafide hit that everyone should see this month and eventually online. This film could gain Lee many Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for next year’s upcoming award season.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Duane Paul Murphy is a D.C. college student and student journalist born and raised in Southern California. Currently studying for his bachelor’s in politics and a minor in media studies, Duane Paul is interested in covering domestic as well as international political affairs that impact the lives of everyday people, whether they are young students, professionals, or faculty in higher education.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

In the Hot Seat9 mins ago

Judge Tosses Stormy Daniels Defamation Lawsuit Against Donald Trump

This dismissal may not be the end, according to Daniels' attorney.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent
2018 Midterms1 week ago

Bernie Sanders Literally Saved Someone from a Possible Car Accident in Washington, D.C.

Bernie Sanders helps a young musician and law student from a possible car accident.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 week ago

Analysis: the Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing

The Ford-Kavanaugh hearing was in full force with a tearful testimony from both parties.

by , Mercy College
Free Speech2 weeks ago

Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski Amongst Many Arrested at Capitol Hill ‘No Kavanaugh’ Protest

The final vote on Kavanaugh could come as early as this weekend, and these women are not backing down.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent
National News2 weeks ago

Confusion At Skatepark Leads to Arrests

Distrust with Law Enforcement creates a worse situation

by , Fisher College
Academics2 weeks ago

The Catholic University of America Suspends a Dean Over a Tweet

The university's administration suspended a dean that tweeted out a controversial comment about one Kavanaugh's alleged accusers.

by , The Catholic American University
National News3 weeks ago

FBI Reports Body of Missing Six Year Old Boy With Autism has Been Found

Maddox was last seen at Rankin Lake Park on Saturday with his father.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent
Academics3 weeks ago

Meet The Press’ Chuck Todd Visits George Washington University

A summary of Chuck Todd's visit to GW.

by , George Washington University

Top Reads