A movie that teams iconic writer/director Spike Lee with Get Out producers Jordan Peele and Josh Blum is worth consideration based on filmmaking talent alone. When you hear the story behind the resulting movie, BlacKkKlansman, and check out its newly released trailer, though, they’ll be no question why it’s one of our can’t-miss-films of the summer.
BlacKkKlansman is based on the autobiography Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth, the first African-American officer to joined the Colorado Springs police force in the early 1970s. In the film, the rookie Stallworth (played by John David Washington of HBO’s Ballers) seeks to make a name for himself by infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan to prevent a planned attack. He recruits his more seasoned, Jewish partner, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) to help him in the cause. Going undercover as a single person, Stallworth provides phone contact with the KKK as Zimmerman goes for the face-to-face meetings. Together, they work their way up the ladder to the Grand Wizard himself, David Duke (Topher Grace).
The first trailer shows that Lee’s taken a blaxploitation approach to the film, complete with muted colors and a badass, funky soundtrack. It also pulls no punches regarding the relevancy to US society in 2018, with juxtapositions of “White Power” and “Black Power” as well as a not-so-subtle burn of President Trump’s “America First” policy approach. Check out the preview below.
Speaking of the film’s pertinence, Spike recently told EW,
“The film is a period piece but the subject matter is very familiar. It has a contemporary rhythm to it, given the dialogue and the subject matter. It’s almost like now we can see how far we’ve come, and this film can maybe help us gauge how the progress is coming along in this country. Are we doing any better, are we opening up conversations, can we have people with different opinions still communicate? That’s what I’m hoping for, too, after seeing this film. We’ve got to start somewhere.”
BlacKkKlansman also stars Laura Harrier, Corey Hawkins, Paul Walter Hauser, Jasper Paakkonen, Ryan Eggold, and Ashlie Atkinson. It will premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it will compete for the Palme d’Or. It opens wide on August 10th.