BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman ★★★★

With the right h-white man...anything is possible

BlacKkKlansman begins with an excerpt from the mournful epic Gone with the Wind by reminding us with great precision and clarity, just what it truly was that Fleming's much-lauded technicolor ode to the South was mourning.

(To be clear: it was mourning the loss of White America's ability to own Black people.)

It ends reminding us that this vile entitlement still exists.

But, for most of its runtime, BlacKkKlansman is a kinetic joy of a buddy-cop comedy bubbling with a simmering righteous anger. Ron Stallworth's genius - in execution, utterly insane in construction - infiltration of the KKK, the most notorious terrorist organization in the history of the country, plays like a superhero origin story. His first call to the local chapter of 'the organization' is a perfect case study not just in the comedy of contrast, but also manages to feel as breathlessly exhilarating as the moment Tobey Maguire landed his first rooftop jump post-spider bite. His ingratiations into the KKK are cut beautifully, playing on the double entendrés laced throughout each conversation.

But, perhaps Lee's most interesting tack is his exploration of Ron's body double and partner, Flip Zimmerman, a Jewish American. Flip's ability to 'pass' as a White American places him in a position where he is simultaneously the outsider and the insider. His dual-citizenship not only places him in hot water as a high-ranking member persistently doubts his 'whiteness' attempting to force him to take a "Jew lie-detector test", but also forces him to confront an identity he has always inhabited, but rarely examined. As a biracial person, it's hard not to sympathize with this plight. This bizarre dual citizenship can, all of a sudden, force you into a situation where you feel as though you're a spy behind enemy lines, waiting for the other side to realize you've been playing for the other team all along.

But, most of all, Spike Lee's latest's purest joy is seeing an historically dumb bunch of racists get duped...again and again and again. And, that's just plain, good family fun. My number 3 of the year so far.

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