Spike Lee’s forthcoming flick, BlacKkKlansman has taken out second place in its run at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Loosely based on the real life Ron Stallworth’s autobiography, the film blends the intense social upheaval of civil rights in the 70’s and the current volatile cultural landscape. Lee has applaudably woven the 70’s based film and subject matter, with footage from last year’s violent white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The 71st Cannes festival film jury, led by Cate Blanchett, selected the film for the Grand Prix prize. The highly coveted Palme d’Or prize was awarded to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film ‘Shoplifters’.
Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to join the Colorado Springs Police Department. Facing tension and hostility in the department, Stallworth sets about making a difference in the community. And, well, he goes straight to the klux of the issue.
Stallworth cunningly poses as a racist extremist and infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. ‘How the fuck does he manage that?’, I hear your mind whirring. He enrols the help of his white (and Jewish) colleague Flip Zimmerman to meet with the klan face-to-face, and apparently Davey Duke and his equally rancid cronies are none-the-wiser.
As a white Aussie, it kind of goes without saying that I am pretty far removed from this particular subject matter. Regardless, it’s pretty simple to comprehend that a violation on an individual’s civil rights borne of misconceived notions of ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ race and ethnicity is absolutely abhorrent. I think Roy Trenneman put it best when he said, ‘People, what a bunch of bastards.’
And maybe I’m hella naive, but the amount of batshit, fire torch-wielding racists that came out of the woodwork during America’s race riots last year was astounding. If ever there was time for a film that touched on white supremacy, it’s fucking now – and that is a sentence I never expected to utter.
On a lighter note, maybe after BlacKkKlansman I’ll be able to see Adam Driver as a separate entity from the eccentric and erratic Adam in HBO’s Girls, ’cause Sith Lord knows his run as Kylo Ren hasn’t done the trick. Oh, and prep yourself for Topher Grace donning the robes of the KKK’s notorious Grand Wizard, David Duke. It’s going to be a wild ride on all fronts, folks.
In case you’ve missed it, check out the trailer for BlacKkKlansman below. The film is due for release on August 10th.