BlacKkKlansman looks back at racial divide

Spike Lee brings present day issues to light with "BlacKkKlansman," a true story of an American Hero.

By Devin Smith, Staff Writer


Photo Courtesy of Focus Features

The 2018 film directed by Spike Lee, "BlaKkKlansman" shows a continuing race war between African Americans, police, and the secret society known as the Ku Klux Klan portrayed in 1979.


The film serves as educational and can come off as uncomfortable for some. As the dark history of segregation and inequality shine through, comedy is subtly sprinkled to lessen the realistic situations and encounters that are shown in the film. But it does not take away from the real-life situations and harm people of color faced.


The film details the risky adventure of the first African-American detective, Ron Stallworth played by John David Washington, to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Eager to set a good first impression, as well as sparking a difference in the world, deciding to take on an undercover mission. This mission to infiltrate the KKK and get a better understanding at what happens inside the minds of the Klansmen. His Caucasian colleague Flip, played by Adam Driver, is his partner for the investigation. The plan is carries on as Ron speaking on the phone with the KKK and Flip being the face of the operation.


David Washington and Driver excelled in their roles exceptionally well with the ability to perfectly adapt to the powerful scenes with strong messages, as well as the humorous and lighthearted scenes. Both characters balancing undercover police work with befriending the notorious KKK. The antagonist, Topher Grace, was stellar in his role as the former Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke.


The dialogue familiarizes the viewer to present day, even though it took place 39 years ago. There is a scene in which Ron talks to a Klan squad leader, and Ron’s face shows the pain and emotion when listening to a racist insults, and having to agree for the sake of the mission. The plot is straight forward for all races, which is the point of a deep and sensitive film like the "BlacKkKlansman."


As the film progresses, Ron begins seeing the change he could bring with this undercover job. The character development of the protagonist is a powerful and meaningful towards the bigger picture.


This film is definitely worth seeing and the R-rating specifies movie-goers under 17 require an accompanying parent or adult guardian. The on-screen representation acknowledges the topic of race and righteousness that takes this film to the top.

The Valley Star 

Los Angeles Valley College

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