I. Shank

I. Shank

Ian Shank, Entertainment Writer

“BlacKkKlansman” is the newest film from Spike Lee (“Do The Right Thing,” “Inside Man,” “Malcolm X”) that centers around the true story of an African-American cop named Ron Stallworth in Colorado Springs who, with the help of a white officer, infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, which leads to the arrest of several klansmen (some of which worked for NORAD) and the disruption of planned Klan activities, including several cross burnings and an attack on a Black Panther protest.

Like Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” this film is very provocative. Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” was already a provocative film as it ends in the death of an unarmed black man at the hands of cops. Here, Lee connects the racial problems of the ‘60s and ‘70s to those of today by using footage from the 2017 Charlottesville protests, which resulted in the death of a young woman after being run over by a car, and the 2017 presidential election. Lee also essentially says that Trump is what the Klan has been wanting for a long time—a man in a high position in the government that refuses to condemn their actions. Lee makes this connection clear by using news clips of Trump juxtaposed with footage of former Grand Wizard David Duke talking positively about Trump. Lee’s directorial voice is clearly more evident than in just about any other film he’s made from the Afro-centric beliefs and dialogue to his uncompromising portrayal of racism and anti-semitism. What Lee does differently in this film is that he uses dark comedy intermixed with all this. There’s one particular scene that is so hilarious that it will almost make you cringe because of the subject material (A klansmen and the white officer discuss whether or not the Holocaust was real or not).

John David Washington (son of Denzel Washington) and Adam Driver (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Silence”) star in the film, and they should be recognized for their work in this film come Oscar-season. They really sink their teeth into their roles and are clearly out of their comfort zone, but they don’t let that stop them.

In the end, “BlacKkKlansman” is one of the smartest, funniest, and most provocative films to come out this year (if not in a long time), and, for that, “BlacKkKlansman” receives 4 ½ / 5 stars.