3 Good Reasons to See BlacKkKlansman.
This film will delight you with its wit and charm. And, while witty, it also manages to bring some heavy moments.
(By Darryl Green)
If you haven’t seen BlacKkKlansman yet, you might want to give it a gander. Its implausibly true plot makes it well worth your time. Plus, if you enjoy witty films with a side of weightiness, knowledge and history, BlacKkKlansman definitely fits the bill. It is easily one of last year’s best films, as proven by it’s Academy Award Nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Spike Lee), Best Supporting Actor (Adam Driver) and Best Adapted Screenplay. The American Film Institute named it as a top-ten film for 2018 and it won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.
Here are 3 good reasons to watch BlacKkKlansman:
1. Spike Lee’s first Oscar-winning film
Spike Lee is easily one of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers. He is considered by many to be the most influential black filmmaker of his time. With classics like Do the Right Thing & Malcolm X to his name, Lee consistently delivers great cinema. Yet, Lee had never won an Academy Award.
That is, until the 2019 Academy Awards came around. Not only was Spike Lee nominated for Best Director, with the film also receiving a nomination for Best Picture, but Lee won his first Oscar for co-writing the screenplay. Surely, Lee would have liked to take home the Best Director statue, but at least he finally got some long-overdue recognition.
2. Denzel Washington’s Son
You may not know this, but the star of the film is John David Washington. He is a relative newcomer, but his father surely isn’t. His father happens to be screen legend, Denzel Washington (Equalizer, Training Day, Malcolm X). Denzel seems to have passed along his great thespian genes to his son, as John David does a marvelous job in one of his first starring roles.
He plays Ron Stallworth, the first African American police officer of the Colorado Springs Police Department. His character must navigate the subtle, and sometimes overt, racism of his day with grace, wit, humor and strength. John David Washington, therefore, was given the tall task of being witty, yet serious. He brought both to the role.
3. Truth is stranger than fiction
This story would probably have never been made if it weren’t true. After all, the idea of a black police officer, Ron Stallworth, infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan and developing an intimate relationship with its Grand Wizard, David Duke, in the 1970’s, seems more than far-fetched. Yet, this film is based on a true story.
Of course, Stallworth, as a black man, could only infiltrate the Klan, well…clandestinely. To do it in-person, he recruits his fellow officer, Flip Zimmerman, to give a white face to his voice on the phone. The only problem: Zimmerman is Jewish, which is also a no-no for the Klan.
The tension, stemming from a black police officer via telephone, and a Jewish police officer in-person, both attempting to maintain their cover as they interact with the most feared hate group in the nation’s history is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.
February was Black History Month, which makes now a great time to watch BlacKkKlansman. This film will delight you with its wit and charm. And, while witty, it also manages to bring some heavy moments.
One such scene features an elder African American character telling an audience of African American activists the jarring story of a black man who was lynched by a white mob, after being accused of raping a white woman. The man never received a fair trial, he was castrated in public and he was burned at the stake, while townspeople, including children, looked on. That story is told by a character played by legendary actor, Harry Belefonte.