BlacKKKlansman: A Compelling Wake-Up Call

A.O Scott of the New York Times commended BlacKKKlansman (2018) as director Spike Lee’s “best nondocumentary feature in more than a decade and one of his greatest.” Based on a true story, the film’s eloquent plot, Afrocentric vibe, and powerful themes scored four Golden Globe nominations. John David Washington, son of legendary actor Denzel Washington, plays Colorado Spring’s first African American detective Ron Stallworth who devises a plan to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. ¨White knight¨ Felix Hendrix (Jasper Pääkkönen) burns crosses with his Jewish colleague Flip Zimmerman, but KKK Grand Wizard David Duke unknowingly speaks to Stallworth about how much he hates Blacks, the Irish, and “anyone else who doesn’t have pure Aryan blood running through their veins.”

Despite harassment from coworkers and the constant shadow of his superior over his shoulder, Stallworth manages to establish trust within the hate group through Zimmerman and collect intel on their endeavors. However, he must keep his work life hidden from Panther member and  love interest Pattrice (Laura Harrier.)

The masterful cinematography and enjoyable soundtrack ease the audience through each powerful scene, which is set in the 1970s. Amidst the huge afros and Black Panthers is a man with a mission- to take down Colorado’s chapter of the KKK before they can attack innocent churchgoers. Spike Lee uses hilarious puns, good-natured connections and even references to previous works to truly enhance the beauty of the film. Over the course of two hours and fifteen minutes, viewers can expect a mix of patriotic melodies such as Gone With the Wind and melancholy selections like Guarding David Duke.

The layers of intrigue and suspense show Mr. Lee’s sometimes underappreciated genre skills,” wrote Scott in his review  ¨Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Journeys Into White America’s Heart of Darkness.¨

The character chemistry and hard work put into the film are undeniably evident. Prominent aspects of black power and unification are portrayed through the words of activist Kwame Ture and the Black Panthers. The movie holds nothing back and includes the disheartening story of a man watching his friend battered and lynched as the story nears its climax.

Critics also compare the motion picture to the infamous Get Out, which was constructed by the same production team. Both works of art beautifully invaded the minds of white supremacists and left most questions unanswered. Each compelling story told the truth.

BlaKkKlansman is far from fictional and expresses relevant race-related issues that cannot be ignored. Lee deciphers the mentality of hate groups and manifests a spark of initiative in all audiences. In the words of activist and supporting character Patrice, the film chants “All power to all the people.”

Felix Hendrix (Jasper Pääkkönen) and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington)