BlacKkKlansman speaks to 2018

Photo courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes | The newest Spike Lee joint is inspired by a true story from the 70s, but it offers poignant social and political commentary on the 21st century. 

BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee, is the most needed movie of 2018. Based on the 2014 memoir written by Ron Stallworth, it represents a reality that many Americans have struggled with and still struggle with today. Its realism is unlike other sugarcoated Hollywood blockbusters. The good guys don’t always win, the guy doesn’t always get the girl and some stories don’t have a happy ending.

Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington, is the first African-American man to join the Colorado Springs police department. Determined to make a name for himself and unsatisfied working in the record room, he petitions to go undercover. During this time he meets Patrice, an activist at college, and just so happens to join the white supremacist group known as Ku Klux Klan. Obviously his ethnic background creates a rift in the investigation, so he enlists fellow detective Flip Zimmerman to physically infiltrate the Klan, while he plays the role over the phone. This leads to an dramatic and meaningful escapade.

The realism and vulgar humor may make some viewers uncomfortable, but in my opinion, that’s what it’s supposed to do. In a mere 136 minutes, you will feel every emotion imaginable. The highs and lows left me mentally exhausted but also enlightened. This is one of the reasons I adored the movie so much. It has all the qualities of a great movie. It is humorous, meaningful and resonates with the viewers.

The only reason this movie fails to rate a full five stars is the over-dramatization of the original story. Although necessary for rating and profit purposes, it was certainly disappointing to read that some of the most important scenes were fictional. Without spoiling it, I would like to recommend fact checking the movie after watching or even reading the memoir that is the basis for the plot.

This movie was unquestionably worth sitting through 20 minutes of previews and paying the ridiculously high theater prices. I highly recommend it to anyone, regardless of political and social views. With talented and facetious lead actors and a quintessential sound track, it is a film that should be added to your watch list. With that being said, I would like to leave you with my favorite quote from the movie, “All power, to all the people.”

By: Sierra Ross | Guest Writer