After more than a week on the silver screen in the UK, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman has been a critical success.
In an age where socially conscious movies are gaining popularity again, Lee’s latest feature is a crime drama based on the true story of the first African American detective of the Colorado Springs Police Department – Ron Stallworth.
The story follows a young Stallworth (played by John David Washington) infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan undercover and foiling a terror plot orchestrated by the extremist group.
Set in the early 1970s, the film shows us the extent to which discrimination had effected minorities in society, reflecting on some of the problems that are still relevant today including racism and police brutality.
After spotting an ad to join the Klan in a newspaper, Ron Stallworth made a connection with a Klansman over the phone while his Jewish colleague, Flip Zimmerman (played by Adam Driver), pretended to be Stallworth in order to attend KKK meetings in person.
The film not only succeeds in telling us the real-life scenario of the case but also making us laugh with a few comedic bits.
Washington does a great job playing Stallworth and his chemistry with Driver just makes the movie tick. Both manage to overcome conflicting aspects in their lives while being on the job.
Topher Grace also does a great job as the antagonist of the film playing the then grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.
Though for the most part a serious film, scenes where Stallworth talks to Duke over the phone are the most hilarious, bringing balance overall to a heavy movie.
With a runtime of 135 minutes, BlacKkKlansman can feel a little on the long side for some viewers. However, the purpose served in each scene is done well especially at the end of the movie.
Lee’s film concludes with a reminder of what is happening in our world today. Not only is it important to learn about history, but to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes again.