KKK movie a 'wake-up call' for Trump's America: Spike Lee

Brunilde Fioravanti
Mag 16, 2018

Spike Lee has unleashed on Donald Trump in an expletive-filled speech, furious at the recent rise of violent white supremacy in the US.

And that mother**ker did not denounce the mother**king Klan, the alt-right, and those Nazis mother**kers. But Trump instead chose to say there was "blame on both sides" in the unrest between the neo-Nazi groups and counter-protesters.

The 61-year-old filmmaker said Mr Trump - whom he refused to call by name - had "a chance to say we are about love and not hate", and sharply criticised him for not denouncing the KKK. The president should have said, Lee insisted, "that we're better than that".

IndieWire critic David Ehrlich said: "Far more frightening than it is amusing (especially after Lee connects the dots from Colorado Springs to Charlottesville), BlacKkKlansman packages such weighty and ultra-relevant subjects into the form of a wildly uneven but consistently entertaining night at the movies". Based on the memoir from Colorado Springs' first Black detective (not the Chappelle's Show sketch), the film follows Detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, son of Denzel), infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s with the help of an undercover cop (Adam Driver). It concludes with actual footage from Charlottesville. The final image is an upside-down American flag that fades to black and white.

Having already wrapped the film, Lee added the Charlottesville coda after the unrest last summer.

Focus Features will release the film in August, on the anniversary of Charlottesville. Before inserting footage of the vehicle that plowed through crowds in Virginia, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer, Lee said he telephoned Heyer's mother.

"Right before I started, we had a baby", Grace said. "She is the mother of Heather Heyer, who got murdered when that vehicle came crashing down the street", Lee said. I was not gonna put that murder scene in the film without her blessing.

"It's an ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on the United States of America", Lee said at the press conference for the film.

"This right-wing (expletive) is not just America".

I think I count seven "motherfuckers".

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