Movie Review: Black Klansman

by Elijah Ramos

BlacKkKlansman is a 2018 crime and drama film that will have you laughing out loud but also taking in and understanding a powerful message on racial discrimination and breaking down racial barriers in the late 20th century in America.

In this “Spike Lee joint,” Lee hones in on a powerful message. One of Lee’s most popular films in a while, it is certainly one of his best. 

He tackles the issue of racism and it’s history, which is never easy. As a director, you are bound to receive a lot of criticism and controversy when talking about racism and taking sides in your film.

Who better than Spike Lee to do this film, though? Lee, an African-American male, grew up in the 1960s in Atlanta, Georgia, but later moved to and was raised in the projects of Brooklyn, New York. Throughout his youth, he experienced several types of racism first hand. This isn’t Lee’s first time doing a film on racism either, as in his film Malcolm X, the Klu Klux Klan were involved as well.

The setting of BlacKkKlansman takes place in Colorado Springs, where main character Ron Stallworth is hired as the first black police officer in the Colorado Springs Police Department’s history. 

He is quickly promoted due to his style and looks, as being a black man Stallworth was able to illegally infiltrate  a Black Panthers meeting for his police department. 

Stallworth, the department’s top detective, also infiltrates a local Klan meeting and goes as far as talking on the phone with David Duke, the grand wizard of the KKK. 

When Ron gets off the phone with the a local Klan member, he realizes that he used his real name on the phone instead of a fake one, which causes him problems later on in the movie. His partner Flip Zimmerman, who is a white man, is forced to play the part of the fake Ron Stallworth and has to stop the Klan from attempting an attack they have planned on the African-American community. 

This film is based on a true story, as there is an actual Ron Stallworth, who did infiltrate the Klan and stop their attack. Lee does a great job of portraying this fact and turns in a quality film for people of all races to enjoy.

 

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