Review: BlacKkKlansman

Here are my thoughts on yet another film based on true events: BlacKkKlansman.

Spike Lee’s film shares the story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), an African-American police officer in Colorado Springs, C.O., who joins the force in the midst of the 1970s Civil Rights Movement. Determined to prove his merit at the police force, Ron is able to successfully infiltrate a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, thanks in part to his Jewish colleague (Adam Driver) who poses as a white supremacist.

While BlacKkKlansman tells a pertinent and intriguing story and Lee tremendously intertwined his political commentary with imagery, I have to say I was not a huge fan of the film. On the imagery side, the most striking moment came at the beginning, where we are shown a PSA-type segment starring a racially-charged Dr. Kennebrew Beauregard (Alec Baldwin). There was a moment in Beauregard’s segment where his face is completely covered by a documentary film playing on a projection screen. Beauregard’s face is white enough that it blends in with the screen, creating a stunning visual showing his views align with that of institutionalized racism.

I did feel that BlacKkKlansman had an issue with pace and the way its subject matter was presented. At times, the film would cut from scene to scene, or show us things that did not make sense in terms of scene or overall purpose of the film.

Bottom line, the message presented here is imperative, particularly in a time of heightened race relations in our country. The way in which BlacKkKlansman presented it could have been much improved. Just a so-so film for me.

My Grade: B

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