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Blackkklansman

It’s said that truth is stranger than fiction. There have been many instances of this with ‘Blackkklansman’ being one of the more unlikely. Based on true events, it shows how a black man infiltrated the hateful pro-white unit the Ku Klux Klan. Given how powerful the odious group has been that was a brave thing to do. Under the assured direction of Spike Lee, ‘Blackkklansman’ is an engrossing essay in standing up to hate so others can live their lives without fear.

Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is a black detective working in 1970’s America. Fed up with the hatred he sees from the Ku Klux Klan, he decides to do something about it. Infiltrating its local branch with the help of fellow detective Flip (Adam Driver), who impersonates him at their meetings, Ron quickly becomes one of its prominent members. Attempting to gather as much information as he can in order to bring the KKK members to justice, Ron walks a deadly tightrope in the face of lethal consequences.

With solid performances from the excellent cast, ‘Blackkklansman’ is a powerful film. Not only because of the examination of bigotry but also how decades after the film’s events the issues are still sadly relevant. With Spike Lee’s well known social activism, which he effectively uses in all his movies, he’s a natural for this type of story. The powder-keg of a situation Stallworth put himself in was full of danger which Lee successfully conveys.

Another highlight of ‘Blackkklansman’ is the use of its setting. The flares and disco tunes are all present and correct in this 70’s flashback but how the era’s attitudes affected everyone is starkly realised. This is especially true of Driver’s character who questions his own background as he too faces the KKK’s wretched behaviour. The mix of factual elements and heightened reality of film story-telling works as the script absorbs as well as disturbs in equal measures.

‘Blackkklansman’ is an often shocking and scary look at the dark recesses of human nature. Racism’s ugliness is laid bare which is something still seen with certain people in positions of high power. This timelessness is the film’s real power and one which viewers should ensure they can help in eradicating so future generations of all creeds can feel safe in any situations.

Rating out of 10: 8

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