In Review: BlacKkKlansman

Some might be quick to call BlacKkKlansman a return to form for American auteur Spike Lee, but the film arrives with the conviction of a storyteller who never left in the first place. Which he truly is. Over twenty narrative features (in addition to documentaries and television) and he’s never taken a break from studying the micro and macro of race in America in works alternating between esoteric and accessible. But maybe the distinction is being made because after this extensive career, Lee delivers something to nearly match his most beloved works for their urgency.

Its true story is at once too wild to be believed and just crazy enough to be conceivable: John David Washington stars as Ron Stallworth, the sole black detective in the 1970s Colorado Springs police force who infiltrated the local Ku Klux Klan. What begins on a spontaneous action, Stallworth heads a task force that ultimately has Jewish fellow detective Flip Zimmerman assume his identity and makes contact with grand wizard David Duke. Adapted from Stallworth’s book by Lee and a screenwriting team of Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott, if BlacKkKlansman were any more real, it would be fictional.


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Long Overdue, Massively Earned

spikeSpike Lee got his Honorary Oscar last night at the Academy’s Governor Awards, deeply deserved after the still-stinging and broadly dismissive showing Do the Right Thing got in its Oscar year. Steadily working within micro and macro interests, social commentary and broad appeal, his career is as (perhaps is even more) varied and expansive as any of his contemporaries.

Trailer for his upcoming Amazon partnership Chi-raq after the jump!

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