BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman ★★★★★

Man. . . Fuck Green Book. Fucking shenanigans. Subterfuge. Skullduggery. 

Wrote this about the best American film of 2018 at InReview’s year-end thing a while back:

Spike Lee is our most American filmmaker, the John Ford of his generation. And BlacKkKlansman is his The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Like Ford, Lee filters a lifetime of work, the exploration of the essential contradictions of the American experience, through the medium of a popular, if disreputable, genre. In Liberty Valance, that meant examining the traditions of community and politics and the blind and bloody violence through which they were manifested in the confined interior spaces of the TV Western. Lee interrogates the dynamics of structural racism at work in an ostensibly liberal American culture through a crowd-pleasing, heroic cop drama, and then oscillates steadily between the idea that the good, enlightened (white and sometimes black) cops can and will save us from the bad guys and the blunt fact that they never, ever have — that for all their supposed triumphs against these particular racists in Colorado in the early 1970s, David Duke is still a thing, white power marches are still a thing, and American martyrs like Heather Heyer are still being created. BlacKkKlansman is structured around contradictions: every element, every scene is balanced by its negation. The film steadfastly resists resolution, as compounded in its multiple endings, where victories both dramatic and comic are balanced by the stark reality (metaphorical, in Lee’s signature tracking shot, and literal in the film’s closing news footage) that the struggle for the soul of America never ends.

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