Cast: John David Washington, Laura Harrier, Adam Driver, Topher Grace
Director: Spike Lee
Synopsis: Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.
There are many things that set Spike Lee’s filmmatic history apart from others – the fact that he tells black stories, that his stories have civic importance, but most of all what rings true in all his films is the passion that he puts in them and Blackkklansman is no exception.
The film, which is based on true story, is about Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), an African American police officer who goes undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan in order to uncover a terrorist plot. He is fronted by a Jewish colleague (Adam Driver) as they attempt to disrupt the separatist group.
Even though the topic that is at the forefront of the film is a serious one, Lee does a good job of making the film enjoyable throughout. From the witty dialogue, to comedic scenes, to the romance between Stallworth and Laura Harrier’s Patrice. A lot has been said about the performances of Driver and Washington in the film, but in my opinion, the standout actor was Topher Grace as the Grand Wizard himself, David Duke. It makes even better that the real life Duke had no idea that Stallworth was a black man until a reporter called him to ask him about it 30 years later.
But even through the light moments, Blackkklansman does not lose track of the gravity of the situation. From the montage of Birth of the Nation to the footage from the news at the end of the film, Lee does a great job of creating a feeling of anxiety in the audience you are constantly worried that Stallworth will be caught out. And even though you are laughing at them, there is no doubt that the KKK is a dangerous and hateful group that can cause real harm.
I loved this film from beginning to end, it tells a story that is important and interesting, and makes you feel as if you are witnessing something important.