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BlacKkKlansman film review

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Find out why BlacKkKlansman is Spike Lee’s best film in years.

Spike Lee’s new film is a slick thriller that is enriched by a lively combination of politics and comedy. It features Lee’s style style with a surprisingly positive portrayal of the police.

Who is Spike Lee?

Spike Lee burst onto the independent cinema scene with She’s Gotta Have It in 1986. He was soon identified as the premier black director of his generation. He combines a vibrant, energetic style with a range of black political perspectives. It’s generally agreed that his masterpiece is 1989’s Do the Right Thing. It portrays how racial tension in an Italian pizzeria in a black neighbourhood escalates into a riot. His other great films include Malcolm X and 25th Hour. BlacKkKlansman is his first film in three years, notably winning the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.

What is BlacKkKlansman about?

BlacKkKlansman is based on the astonishing true story of Ron Stallworth. He was an African-American cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. He’s played in the movie by John David Washington, the son of Denzel Washington.  Stallworth was able to become a member  by talking to the Klan over the phone, then sending a white cop in for the face-to-face meetings.  That cop is played by Adam Driver. While the film works like a great thriller, it’s also very funny. Stallworth also has an interesting love interest named Patrice (Laura Harrier). She is the president of a black students’ union. Stallworth doesn’t reveal his job to her, as he met her working undercover and she hates policemen.

The verdict?

The film’s look and politics are classic Lee, but the subject matter speaks to current concerns about the the KKK. While investigating the absurdity of the organisation, it doesn’t shy away from the group’s racist language and increasingly sinister intentions. Both highly entertaining and thought provoking, Lee’s latest joint deserves comparison with his very best.