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BlacKkKlansman Review – A Powerful Scathing Indictment Worthy of Oscar Gold

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BlacKkKlansman, from Focus Features and 40 Acres and A Mule Productions, presents a powerful, true story of an undercover sting operation that infiltrates the Klu Klux Klan during the height of the 1970's Black Power Movement.

Directed and co-written by Spike Lee BlacKkKlansman stars Alec Baldwin, John David Washington, Adam Zimmerman, Laura Harrier, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Robert John Burke, Brian Tarantina, Arthur J. Nascarella, Ken Garito, Frederick Weller, Michael Buscemi, Jasper Paakkonen, Ryan Eggold, Paul Walter Hauser, Ashlie Atkinson, Topher Grace, Nicholas Turturro and Harry Belafonate.

BlacKkKlansman was also produced by Blumhouse Productions, Jason Blum, Jordan Peele, and co-written by Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott based on the by Ron Stallworth.

BlacKkKlansman begins with a close up from the epic Gone With the Wind with Ms. Scarlett, played by Vivien Lee, calling for Dr. Meade among the hundreds of thousands wounded confederate soldiers as the camera pulls back the injured continued to fill the screen until the camera reaches the ripped and torn Confederate Flag still held in honor.

It cuts to Dr. Kennebrew Beauregard, a southern bigot and racist, played by Alec Baldwin, spouting hate and inflammatory rhetoric on the mongrel nation and the forced integration of schools. It is a manifesto of White Hate.


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This scene fades into contemporary America, circa 1970, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a black man, whom we later find out is Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington, approaches the Colorado Springs Police Department with a desire to join.

After a series of racial questions, our token Ron is hired and soon working in the records room which he hates. With assuredness and confidence he approaches Chief Bridges, played by Robert John Burke, and explains he wants to work undercover. He can talk Kings English and Jive and really hates the records room.

As it were a former Black Panther Kwame Ture played by Corey Hawkins, was coming to town as an invited speaker by the President of Colorado Springs Student Union, Patrice Dumas, played by Laura Harrier.

Needing someone to blend into the 1970's Black Power movement, when oversized Afro's, raised fists, motown, Soul Train, and the negro spiritual went hand in hand with militant extremism, Chief Bridges calls on Ron Stallworth. This is where we meet Detective Phillip "Flip" Zimmerman, played by Adam Driver and Detective Jimmy Creek played by Michael Buscemi who preps Stallworth on his assignment.

As he makes his way toward the entrance he meets Patrice Dumas and tries to charm his way into the meeting without standing in line, to her credit she doesn't fall for it and he has to wait in line like everyone else.

As the rally progresses, the firebrand rhetoric of Kwame Ture, which had been expected to unite blacks everywhere and ignite a civil race war, one that had been simmering for decades was absent of the larger hate message expected by the Colorado Springs Police. With chants of "Power to the People" the meeting closed.

Soon with Kwame Ture safely out of town, Detective Stallworth finds a small advertisement in the newspaper that the local chapter of the Klu Klux Klan is accepting members. So on a whim, he makes the call, introduces himself and soon the white supremist boys call and he spouts his own form of rhetoric and suddenly a new investigation begins.

This is where BlacKkKlansman really takes off as two Ron Stallworths, one white and one black, are needed in order to keep the investigation alive.

Spike Lee continues to evolve as a director and story teller and BlacKkKlansman is his best film yet. He is able to present an extreme fascism, that if it weren't for a single "bad" seed would appear to be normal. All the exterior red flags, skinheads and other tell signs, unless ones counts ignorance, are absent with only an extreme, seemingly harmless, white brotherhood exterior is presented.

He brings out the inner workings of the investigation, which presented deep seeded repressed hate, where the members openly seek converts for the sole purpose of furthering a propaganda of separatism and worse spewing hate teachings of every recorded hate messager in history.

The cast delivers flawlessly on material that especially in our current climate is challenging. Kudo's to Mr. Lee as he refuses to bow or submit to the current ideology that censors words and usage for fear of stepping on the feelings of others. The creative space must stay free.

Harry Belfonate recounts a lynching and murder that occurred during his youth as the KKK, simultaneously inducts new members. David Duke is portrayed by Topher Grace.


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The finale of the film shows the world how far we have regressed from the brief moments where the idea of equality was actually attainable.

BlacKkKlansman is powerful, genuine and a truthful trip back to the 1970's. It resonates with an influential message that unfortunately society is determined to relive and expects the same results.

With the hate groups clinging to the messenger behind Making America Great, marching for the whitewashing of history and for the suppression of its citizens, BlacKkKlansman ties it all together.

BlacKkKlansman, genuinely entertaining is the first real OSCAR contender of the season and is Lee's most effective and intense film to date. 

BlacKkKlansman opens August 10, 2018. See this film!

 

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