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Based on a crazy, outrageous, incredible true story

From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It's the early 1970s, and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. The young detective soon recruits a more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), into the undercover investigation of a lifetime. Together, they team up to take down the extremist hate group as the organization aims to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream.

Identity is central to BlackkKlansman, and not just black identity. Flip Zimmerman, Ron's partner in the police ruse, initially thinks his own (Jewish) identity isn't a factor — "for you it's a crusade, for me it's a job" he tells Ron. But when that aforementioned beady-eyed white supremacist demands Flip take a "Jew lie-detector test," he finally realizes he's got skin in the game.

Lee's point, of course, is that we've all got skin in this game. He may depict '70s Klan members as bozos with hood-fetishes — hateful, yes, but amusingly incompetent. He does that, though, to soften us up for some harrowing juxtapositions, chief among them Stallworth's Klan-induction, inter-cut with an excruciating recounting of a 1930s Klan lynching to a rapt group of young people by an elderly survivor played by singer/activist Harry Belafonte.

Lee uses that look-back to set up a head-spinning flash-forward to the Trump era that makes clear there's a reason BLlackkKlansman is opening this weekend, one year, nearly to the day, after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. If hate groups were insidious four decades ago, argues Lee in his most ferociously entertaining (and just plain ferocious) film in years, how much more dangerous are they today?

Courtesy: Bob Mondello, NPR

CBC Podcast interview with the real man behind the story, Ron Stallworth:

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Directed by: 
Spike Lee
Running Time: 
John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace
Official site: 
Screenplay by: 
Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee

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