The latest project by the often controversial, always entertaining filmmaker Spike Lee has debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. The first trailer has also just been released and the reaction to BlacKkKlansman, produced by Jordan Peele (Get Out), has been electrifying. Here’s all we know about the film.
What’s it about?
In the early 1970s, Ron Stallworth, the first African-American police detective in Colorado Springs, Colorado, sets out on a mission to expose the Ku Klux Klan. Watch the first trailer below.
John David Washington (HBO’s Ballers) stars as Ron Stallworth. Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) stars as Flip Zimmerman, his more experienced (and Jewish) colleague in the police department who goes undercover on behalf of Stallworth. Laura Harrier (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Topher Grace (Under the Silver Lake) also star.
Wait, is this based on a true story?
Yes. Stallworth wrote a book about his experiences, Black Klansman, which was published in 2014. As far back as 2006, he talked with NPR about how he set up his initial meeting with a KKK member in 1979 and asked a good friend and fellow detective, who was white, to go in his place when face-to-face meetings were required.
The film is set earlier in the 1970s, and it’s apparent that a few changes have been made in adapting the true story for the big screen. It is of note, however, that Stallworth says he spoke directly with David Duke, the KKK national leader, multiple times; in the film, Topher Grace plays Duke.
What has been the reaction at the Cannes Film Festival?
Almost entirely positive so far. Here are a couple of the many reactions on social media.
“Lee’s most flat-out entertaining film in quite a long time as well as his most commercial.” — THR.
BlacKkKlansman “draws on the past to talk about today, using laughter, action sequences, drama, shock, calls to action. Entertaining, with an ending that truly punches you in the gut. Holds up a mirror to the America that is tough (but important) to see.” — Alicia Malone, TCM.
When can we see it?
BlacKkKlansman will open in theaters on August 10, 2018, via Focus Features.