Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” is significant and far-reaching

“Blackkklandsman” Sends an Important Message That Everyone Should Take the Time to Hear


Press Release Photo, Focus Features, Creative Commons

John David Washington portrayal of Ron Stallworth is just one of the strong elements of this important film.

Brooks Carver, Varsity Writer

This summer was highlighted by the releases of several enormous, high-budget blockbuster movies which included “Avengers: Infinity War” and “The Incredibles 2.” Sometimes amidst all this madness, some smaller, low-budget movies can be overlooked regardless of quality or attention to detail. But one movie that should not be overlooked is “BlacKkKlansman.”

“BlacKkKlansman” is director Spike Lee’s latest cinematic endeavor. Based on true events that took place during the early 1970’s in a racism-plagued Colorado town. A black cop and his Jewish partner must go undercover to investigate the Ku Klux Klan while also combating prejudice and discrimination inside the police department.

The film’s main character and protagonist is Ron Stallworth, who is played by Denzel Washington’s son John David Washington. Ron is a black police officer who is frequently treated poorly by the other police officers. During his first day after being promoted to detective, Ron notices a Ku Klux Klan ad in the local paper encouraging people to join, Ron sees this as an opportunity to prove himself by taking down the Klan. Ron has to team up with a white officer named Philip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) to act as Ron when they meet with the Klan in person while Ron communicates with the Klan over the phone. Overall, Washington portrayal of this character so excellent because it seems so natural.

Since the movie had a small budget ($15,000,000) and was rated R, Lee had the freedom to be creative and to not hold back. He uses lots of obscenities and vulgarity to convey the important message about inequality in “BlacKkKlansman” to the audience. In addition to this, Lee also includes many long, powerful, speeches from characters that last 3-5 minutes which is something not seen in a blockbuster films.

The serious tone of the movie is established early on when the audience hears a powerful speech from black extremist Brother Kwame Ture (Corey Hawkins) telling black people to “arm themselves” because a civil war between the two races is inevitable. Consequently, this scene is followed up by a brutal scene showcasing firsthand police brutality against black people. Along with that, towards the end of the movie before the credits, Lee shows real life footage from the Charlottesville rallies from last August to show that white-supremacy and anti-semitism from the movie still exist in today’s society. All this in conjunction with Terrence Blanchard’s emotional soundtrack makes “BlacKkKlansman” a far-reaching and significant film.

Despite the serious nature of the movie, Lee still finds plenty of opportunities to allocate jokes and comedy to keep the audience laughing throughout the entire film with his use of irony and caricature. One funny scene is when Ron says racist things about black people while on the phone with the Klan. The irony here is perfectly timed.

In conclusion, “BlacKkKlansman” is a creative movie that keeps the audience entertained while at the same time educating them on the discrimination that black people faced in the early 1970’s. It does a fantastic job of incorporating social justice and exposing the reality of government corruption.