BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman ★★★★

Infiltrate hate.

Spike plays on the line between searing drama and satirical comedy by utilizing the disgusting white suprematist rhetoric in different ways. When hate spews out of the mouth of the white actors playing the Klan members, it works to show the repugnant racism that has plagued our country for years, but when the same thing rolls off the lips of black detective Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington) posing as a white Klan member over the phone, it plays like a hilarious farce, pointing out how pathetically ignorant all of it sounds.

I thought the most effective point of the film would be when elderly activist Jerome Turner (played by Harry Belafonte) shares his eye witness account of the torture/lynching of Jesse Washington with a black student organization spliced together with a montage of Klan members excitedly watching The Birth of a Nation, but then Spike hits us with his signature double dolly shot in the final frames of the narrative portion of the film that really packs a visceral gut punch and is among some of his most arresting imagery to date.

Another mere line that was quite effective on me was when Flip, the Jewish detective played by Adam Driver (giving a typical great performance) who stands in for Ron in the face to face meetings with the Klan, is sitting there reflecting on the harassing from the Klan members making sure he’s not Jewish and says to Ron that he’s never really thought about being Jewish or how he’s different from anyone else, but after enduring the hate from the Klan it’s all he thinks about. For me that was quite a sobering thought that had never crossed my mind, to be constantly reminded about your heritage and why it makes you inferior in the eyes of some that can’t see past that.

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