Spike Lee’s latest movie, BlacKkKlansman, picked up 6 Oscar nominations (best picture, supporting actor, director, adapted screenplay, film editing and original score). BlacKkKlansman was produced by the team behind the Academy-Award winning Get Out. If Spike Lee wins best director, he would be the first black director to ever win in that category.
Based on Some Fo’ Real, Fo’ Real
The movie is based on Ron Stallworth’s memoir, Black Klansman. Stallworth, played by John David Washington, was the first African American detective in the Colorado Springs police department. This was in the early 70’s (hooray for the styling). He was able to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan with his partner (called Flip in the movie). The real identity of the partner of Stallworth is unknown. Adam Driver has been nominated for best supporting actor for his role as Flip. Driver really did a great job, his best role so far!
Food for thought
BlacKkKlansman is mostly described as a crime comedy-drama but I did not find the movie funny. Yes, it is exaggerated and ironic but still, watching it while knowing that it’s based on a true story is scary. It’s dark and there is so much hate from both sides. Black power against White power. And I was just watching like ‘why does race matter so much to some people? I just don’t get them.’ It’s absurd and insane. We just have one life, why f*ck it up because of the color of ones skin. Who cares?
You can be white, black, green, purple with yellow dots, I don’t care. Why so much hate? Why do some people care about what God other people believe in or whom they love? You know, live and let live – make love not war and all that…I think Spike Lee showed this so well, the message is still painfully relevant and crystal clear.
Real life vs BlacKkKlansman
Ok so now, don’t crucify me, but I just wasn’t impressed by Washington. I didn’t find him as likeable and charismatic as his dad (Denzel Washington). He does sound exactly like him! But hey, that’s very personal. He was nominated for the Golden Globe Award in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama category but lost it to Rami Malek. Laura Harrier was gorgeous playing Patrice. Patrice by the way is a fictional character. Topher Grace stars as David Duke. A strange casting choice but he is convincing as the Klan’s national director. If you’re interested, you can check which characters are ‘real’ and which are fictional in the movie in this article.
I grew up with Spike Lee movies and absolutely loved Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Mo’ Better Blues and Jungle Fever. At some point, I lost track of him and I had not seen a Spike Lee movie for quite a while. So anyway, I was all hyped up which led to me being a bit disappointed watching BlacKkKlansman.
Spike Lee ties the story to the present day and the message is on point but I was expecting more on a visual level. There is this shot of Stallworth and his girlfriend right seconds before the ending which was lovely. The introductory sequence was great as well. I would have enjoyed seeing more of this during the movie.