“BlacKkKlansman” (2018) by Spike Lee The: respective chimeras of racism and anti-racism
Cannes 2018: the true story of Ron Stallworth, hero of “BlacKkKlansman”, the last Spike Lee. The story of Ron Stallworth is not only true. But it is exciting especially because it starts under the auspices of an extraordinary decision as a stroke of madness.
The cadet who had just joined the local Colorado Springs police in the late 1970s. Then aspired to something other than the gray guarding of the archives. The young policeman is waiting for the investigation that would boost his early career.
After a first infiltration into a meeting of Stokely Carmichael became in 1978 Kwame Ture. The activist then went from the revolutionary activism of the Black Panthers. It is to cultural promotion pan-Africanism faithful to his symbolic change of surname.
An advertisement published in the local newspaper.
That he then browses and which concerns the Ku Klux Klan will be the click: the agent telephone the number indicated, masquerades. It is as a White convinced of the obsidional necessity of Suprematism in order. It save America threatened by all its leftist, racial or sexual minorities. As a result, he obtained a preparatory meeting for his future induction into an organization.
That did not completely abandon his repertoire of brutal actions, even though one of his national leaders like the politician. David Duke understood all the benefits of adopting an outdoor polishing strategy and soft power. The only worry is that Ron Stallworth played by John David Washington is African-American.
That is why he will have to go through the dialectical mediation of another body as a white lining.
So that he can play his character face-to-face with the KKK militants. And this body will be given to him by Filip “Flip” Zimmerman, a colleague of the Narcotics Department. To complete the extreme irony of the situation of a black cop who managed to infiltrate the American temple of racial purity and Aryan White. It happens that the conspiracy of Ron Stallworth, interpreted by Adam Driver, is Jewish.
This story for professional reasons Ron Stallworth kept secret until his retirement in 2005.
Then made public in an interview in 2006 preceding the publication in 2014 of an autobiographical book. This entitled Black Klansman, Spike Lee in takes a big symbolic profit without making a good movie. Received from the hands of Jordan Peele who preferred to produce Spike Lee’s film with Jason Blum, producer of his Get Out (2017).
The scenario consists in fact in the opportunistic and unbalanced apparatus of various pretexts.
The comic and police mixtures of buddy-movie live alongside the revival of the 1970s, as well as the references to soul, funk and blaxploitation. While the evocation of yesterday’s racisms allows the link to denounce today’s racisms exemplified by the conclusive. It is use of video footage of the violence of the Charlottesville dramatic events of August 2017 in Virginia.
With this, Spike Lee has undoubtedly succeeded and is back in force by winning the Grand Jury of the Cannes Film Festival. When his star had considerably faded in recent years (since Inside Man in 2006. The only film distributed in France was his remake of Old Boy in 2013. And one like the other are muscular and calibrated entertainment of little interest). And this return to grace is being achieved in the committed mode of a political attack against the current President of the United States.
Donald Trump, whose personal and ideological acquaintances with the KKK are a mystery to no one.
As BlacKkKlansman is a preach addressed to the convinced that we are. Who will laugh at the fat stupidity of the Suprematists and who will be moved by the brutality of which they are really capable. One will wonder then if the film is satisfied only to capitalize on its resources at the a badly negotiated risk of ambiguity. Or if it still has the ambition to disturb the well-constituted and delimited divisions of the bad racist and the good racist.
CANNES – Twenty-six years after “Malcom X”, Spike Lee tackles a new and exciting destiny.
That of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado Springs who infiltrated the organization of the Ku Klux Klan to its highest level. He thus prevented the supremacist group from taking control of the city.
To embody this policeman, the filmmaker chose John David Washington. Who is none other than the son of Denzel Washington who played the leader of the black American movement “Nation of Islam” in “Malcom X“. Alongside these, Adam Driver interprets Flip Zimmerman, the colleague who will help him in this infiltration.
Presented Monday, May 14 in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival
“Blackkklansman” should please the story of his main character, now 52 years old, is surprising.
In 2006, America discovered “Black Klansman“, a humor-filled book about the incredible infiltration of a black detective into the Ku Klux Klan. It a famous radical racist group advocating a “white superiority“. This crazy adventure is told by the person who led it: Ron Stallworth, a recently retired policeman.
He will have waited nearly thirty years to write seven months of an experience out of the ordinary. In 2014, he told the American site Vice how this crazy adventure lived between 1978 and 1979 had begun.
“I came across an announcement of the Ku Klux Klan, which included a mailing address.I wrote a little letter posing as a white racist: I explained that I hated the Negroes, Yikes, Latinos, I used all the racist terms that came to mind, and I wrote that I wanted to do something to preserve “white supremacy.”
But I made a big mistake: I signed the letter with my real name! To be honest, I had a moment of absence at the time of signing.Although my real name was at the bottom of the letter, while I had filled in the phone number and address we used for our covers, “he recalled at the time.
A few days later, bingo!
He is called by a Ku Klux Klan official who asks him to explain his motives. Ron Stallworth repeats the racist remarks he made in his mail. “I added that my sister was going out with a negro, and every time I saw him put his dirty black paws on her, it put me out of me.” He replied that I was exactly the same. profile he was looking for and asked me when he could meet me, that’s how my investigation started, “he says.
That’s when his friend and colleague Chuck (Flip Zimmerman in the movie) enters the game. With this cover, he will integrate high grades of KKK and thus prevent various operations developed by the racist organization. …
Rating: R (for language throughout, including racial epithets, and for disturbing/violent material and some sexual references)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Directed By: Spike Lee
Stars: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier
Written By: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
In Theaters: Aug 10, 2018 Wide
On Disc/Streaming: Nov 6, 2018
Runtime: 135 minutes
Studio: Focus Features
The contemporary elements don’t necessarily trip you up too much, because you’re in the middle of a period piece, and its a great balance that he strikes because we have been waiting for a return of Spike.
There’s nobody left in Hollywood making broad, sweeping, lively political melodramas like Spike Lee.
A kitchen sink and kaleidoscopic study of cultural and institutional racism in America.
Until the closing shots of BlacKkKlansman, director and co-writer Spike Lee does more than control the rage. He refines it with riotous wit into a stiletto, and is all the more lethal for that.
BlacKkKlansman is a buoyant buddy-cop caper, a loving homage to Blaxploitation films, and an intelligent conversation with the past and the present.