Tag Archives: Spike Lee

BlacKkKlansman Movie Review

Spike Lee is known for speaking to his audience without hitting them over the head.

His new movie, BlacKkKlansman, was released yesterday. In the 1970’s Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, son of respected actor Denzel Washington) is not only a new recruit in the Colorado Springs police department, but he is also the first police officers of color on the squad. While browsing through a local newspaper, he stops on an ad for the KKK and calls them, pretending to be white. Surprisingly, he receives a call back. Ron goes undercover with the help of Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), a fellow cop who is Jewish. Flip plays Ron in person while Ron plays a white version of himself over the phone. They even go so far as to make contact with David Duke (Topher Grace).  While this is happening, Ron is seeing Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier), who is a local activist in the civil rights movement.

Will Ron and Flip be exposed or will they be able to stop the KKK in their tracks?

Based on a book by the real life Ron Stallworth, this movie blew me out of the water. The movie was funny, uncomfortable and forced the audience to really think about how we view race in America. Though it is set in the 1970’s, it speaks to the audience in 2018. While I won’t give the ending away, I will say that you could hear a pin drop as the final moments of the film played. It was that powerful.

I’ve seen quite a few movies this year. BlacKkKlansman is one of the best films of 2018. If I were a betting woman, I would say that this movie will do very well come award season.

I absolutely recommend this movie.

BlacKkKlansman is presently in theaters. 

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Flashback Friday-Do The Right Thing (1989)

Film sometimes has a way of illuminating the best and worst in society.

Spike Lee’s classic 1989 film Do The Right Thing takes place on a simmering summer day in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

25 years before the start of the film, Sal (Danny Aiello) opened his pizza parlor. He is not shy about his heritage.

But the neighborhood around him has changed. His son, Pino (John Turturro) would prefer if the pizza parlor was located in another neighborhood a little closer to home. What once was an Italian-American community has changed, with many of the residents being African-American or Latino.

When one of the customers, Buggin’ Out (Giancarlo Esposito) requests a minor change to the pizzeria decor to reflect the area residents, what starts as a simple requests spirals out into violence and naked prejudice.

I am not normally a Spike Lee fan. But, I am a native New Yorker and I appreciate the honesty that Lee brings to the film as both director and screenwriter. It’s not easy to create a film that not only entertains, but also forces the audience to take a hard look at an issue that many of us would prefer not to face.

The film also reflects a change in not just Bed-Stuy (shortened from Bedford-Stuyvesant), but in all of New York City.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies, New York City