Starring: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Jasper Pääkkönen, Corey Hawkins, Paul Walter Hauser, Harry Belafonte
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Crime comedy-drama directed by Spike Lee. Based on a true story, BlacKkKlansman follows Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), an African-American police officer who successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1978 Colorado Springs, Colorado. By pretending to be a white supremacist over the phone and sending a white officer, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), in his place for in-person meetings, he was able to become the head of the local KKK chapter and sabotage their activities from within.
Mr. Turrentine: [to Stallworth] There’s never been a black cop in this city. Now, if we make you an officer, you will, in effect, be the Jackie Robinson of the Colorado Springs Police Force. And if you know anything about Jackie Robinson, you know he had to take a lot of guff from his fellow teammates, the fans, other teams and the press.
Mr. Turrentine: Black Power also means that we must unite. We must unite, and we must organize to form a base to fight racism.
Kwame Ture: I just want to leave you, sisters and brothers, with these last words. If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am for myself alone, who am I? If not now, when? And if not you, who? We need an undying love for black people, wherever we may be. All power to all the people.
Chief Bridges: What was the room like?
Ron Stallworth: Folks were hanging on every word.
Jimmy Creek: Like a Baptist church on Christmas Sunday morning.
Chief Bridges: Okay, Ron, how do you propose to make this investigation?
Ron Stallworth: Well, I’ve established contact and created some familiarity with the Klansman over the phone. I’ll continue in that role, but I’ll need another officer, surprise, surprise, a white officer to play me when they meet face-to-face. See, that’s my point exactly. Chief, black Ron Stallworth over the phone, white Ron Stallworth face-to-face, so there becomes a combined Ron Stallworth.
Chief Bridges: Can you do that?
Ron Stallworth: I believe we can. With the right white man, we can do anything.
Chief Bridges: Anything happens to one of my men, there won’t be two Ron Stallworths. There’ll be none.
Flip Zimmerman: Jimmy, when’s the last time they let a rookie lead an investigation? Oh, that’s right, never.
Ron Stallworth: Okay, alright, let’s move on. Let’s go to our bio.
Flip Zimmerman: I get to play you, but you don’t get to play me? Jimmy, does that sound fair?
Jimmy Creek: Fair? Not to me.
Ron Stallworth: Now, what else? Who are you meeting with?
Flip Zimmerman: Walter Breachway.
Ron Stallworth: Become his friend. Let’s get invited back.
Felix Kendrickson: You for the white race, Ron?
Flip Zimmerman: Oh, hell, yeah.
Flip Zimmerman: So, what kind of stuff you guys do?
Klansman: What kind of stuff we do? We cross burnings, and marches, and stuff, so people don’t f*** with us.
Felix Kendrickson: [to Zimmerman] You undercover or something? You ask too many questions.
Patrice Dumas: Are you down for the liberation of black people?
Ron Stallworth: Do we always have to talk politics?
Patrice Dumas: What’s more important?
Ron Stallworth: Do you ever take time off?
Patrice Dumas: No. It’s a lifetime job.
Patrice Dumas: Are you a cop?
Ron Stallworth: No, I’m in construction. But more importantly, I’m a black man who wants to get to know a strong, intelligent, beautiful sister. The very one I’m looking at right now. You dig?
Patrice Dumas: Sure enough.
Ron Stallworth: That’s what I’m talking about. Power to the people.
Patrice Dumas: All power to all the people.
Ron Stallworth: That’s right, sister.
Felix Kendrickson: You are going to take this lie detector test. Take a seat.
Flip Zimmerman: What is this? Is this your Jew den? Is this where you make your candles, you know, and your lampshades?
Felix Kendrickson: No, you’re going to take this lie detector test.
Flip Zimmerman: Open the damn door. This is some lame bulls**t.
Felix Kendrickson: Lame or not, you’re taking this Jew lie detector test.
Ron Stallworth: Flip, it’s intel.
Flip Zimmerman: Well, I’m not risking my life to prevent some rednecks from lighting a couple sticks on fire.
Ron Stallworth: This is the job. What’s your problem?
Flip Zimmerman: That’s my problem. For you, it’s a crusade. For me, it’s a job. It’s not personal, nor should it be.
Ron Stallworth: Why haven’t you bought into this?
Flip Zimmerman: Why should I?
Ron Stallworth: Because you’re Jewish, brother. The so-called chosen people. You’ve been passing for a WASP. White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, cherry pie, hot dog, white boy. It’s what some light-skinned black folks do. They pass for white. Doesn’t that hatred you’ve been hearing the Klan say doesn’t that pi** you off?
Flip Zimmerman: Of course it does.
Ron Stallworth: Then why you acting like you ain’t got skin in the game, brother?
Flip Zimmerman: Rookie, that’s my f***ing business.
Ron Stallworth: It’s our business.
David Duke: [over phone] Sorry, who am I talking to?
Ron Stallworth: This is Ron Stallworth calling from Colorado Springs, Colorado. How are you today, sir?
David Duke: I’m quite well. Thank you. What can I do you for?
Ron Stallworth: I desperately want to participate in my chapter’s honorary events, but I can’t until I receive my membership card.
David Duke: Of course that’s something I can help you with.
Ron Stallworth: Great. Who am I speaking with?
David Duke: This is David Duke.
Ron Stallworth: Did you just say your name was David Duke?
David Duke: Last time I checked.
Ron Stallworth: Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan? That David Duke?
David Duke: Yes, that Grand Wizard and national director, yeah.
Ron Stallworth: National director, too, huh?
David Duke: Yes, you’re darn tooting.
Ron Stallworth: That’s amazing. I’m honored to be speaking with you, sir. I’m not afraid to say it. I consider you a true white American hero.
David Duke: Is there any other kind?
Ron Stallworth: No, sir. I’m just happy to be talking to a true white American.
David Duke: Amen.
Ron Stallworth: It seems like there’s less and less of us out there these days.
Flip Zimmerman: [reading from the card] “Ron Stallworth, member in good standing for the year. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.”
Ron Stallworth: That’s us. Stallworth Brothers.
Felix Kendrickson: My old man always told me good things come to those who wait.
David Duke: [giving a toast at a Klan meeting] America first!
Klansmen: America first! America first! America first!
Waiter: [to the waiter next to him] Ain’t this a b**ch. If I would have known this was a Klan meeting, I wouldn’t have taken this m**herf***ing gig. Goddamn.
Kam Sham (UK) says
Black K Klansman
It’s candid & none standard but you won’t be left stranded as it’s constructed from different society strands & clans.
This film is thought provoking, invoking my conscience & soaking it with inflammatory views which I’m struggling to ratio, fashion & review.
It’s a retrospective perspective from a different angle which the director grinds well as he spikes & spices it up.
The movie spins on the premise of infiltration on the Klan by police intelligence officers of which one is an Afro American by the name of Ron Stallworth & he’s the one that jacks up the action & uses his fellow colleague as a distraction. This exposes the organisationals racist & hatred core, but worse is to follow as these self styled KKK members plot the downfall of the rising powerful black youth movement.
The plot is realistic and complements the 1970s setting. The engaging opening, Afro hair styles, red beetle, funky soothing music & the retro 70s clothing add a sense of purpose & poise to the film. Spike must be commended as it’s likeable & powerful in its delivery of racists 70s America.
The poignant part is when an elder recollects the horrific murder of his fellow Afro teenage friend & the contrasting celebratory euphoria of the racist white view of the same incident!
Eventually the director points out that the differentials between black and white are still surfacing today in modern day America and this is the Achilles heel that has not been fully healed!
So if you like …
touch of humour,
a decent plot & good acting then checkout this groovy movie.
Kam copyright 2018