BlacKkKlansman ★★★½


Hard to parse through this one (But of course. It's Spike) as the film mostly is a toothless endeavor in provocation, rhetoric, and genre dissection through historical/popular culture, complete with a wallop of a Gone with the Wind facepalm on the outset. This certainly isn't "THIS IS AN EMERGENCY." Spike Lee. It reminded me, weirdly, of an inverse-political-version of Three Billboards. And then the final few minutes happened. Lee found a second, fiery blast of rage in post-production, that's for sure, and it encapsulates the false victory of blaxploitation without undermining its importance. Similarly so, the pivotal, uncomfortable placements of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation occur as Lee deploys his own cross-cutting for direct political force, with history and technique being used against its foul creator. Not equating but conversing. Across a gap that'll never be bridged. Reality as a racist specter of an institution. Growing stronger every day. The truth of this movie doesn't gain any fangs until then, but in the meantime, the sharp writing of its undercover cop tension and bigoted language plays out as expected. Satisfying and mournful, although not much more than that.

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