BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee’s latest film, a based on true story about a black detective, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington providing the hidden black heart and Adam Driver the obviously needed white face), who infiltrated the local Colorado Springs Ku Klux Klan, is both a polemic on racism and the blind spots on both the black power and white power movement.
Lee wisely places the point of view squarely in the middle.
Stallworth as a black cop has to understand the black power movements total contempt for a job that they see as an extension of white suppression. His white face undercover extension, Filp Zimmerman must come to grips with his neglected Jewish heritage and antisemitism as he repeatedly has to deny this heritage in front of a KKK member who strongly doubts that Zimmerman is a true believer of the cause.
This middle perspective of two groups who have borne the brunt of racist history allows Lee to reflect the blind spots back on both extremes. It generates all of BlacKkKlansman’s comedy, poignancy, drama and social commentary. How America can no longer see a middle ground is BlacKkKlansman’s whole point.
Lee the ultimate black insider has made a film that is faithful to the outsiders. It doesn’t preach revolution, just seeks a sensible middle ground.
BlacKkKlansman is one of Spike Lee’s best film in years.