John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace
Produced by Oscar-winning Get Out auteur Jordan Peele, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman tells the astonishing true story of one of the riskiest undercover investigations in American history — an improbable early ’70s case in which African-American police detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, Denzel’s son) applied for and was ultimately granted membership to the Ku Klux Klan.
Posing as a racist extremist over the telephone, Stallworth infiltrates the KKK’s inner circle, even communicating with David Duke himself (played with poisonous relish by Topher Grace), but has his colleague Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) pretend to be him for face-to-face meetings – and in so doing, illustrates the profound absurdities at the heart of the group’s hateful ethos.
An unflinching examination of race relations in 1970s America, BlacKkKlansman is unfortunately still bracingly relevant; especially so given the troubling rise in white supremacist gatherings such as the deadly Charlottesville march (footage of which Lee incorporates here) – and the film also reads as a rebuke to the Trump administration’s at best inadequate, at worst actively racist response. A major comeback for Lee, this bitingly satirical true story earned the outspoken and visionary director his first prize from the Cannes Film Festival, the coveted Grand Prix.