BlacKkKlansman Information

Black Klansman}}

BlacKkKlansman is a 2018 American biographical crime film co-written and directed by Spike Lee, based on the memoir Black Klansman (2014) by Ron Stallworth. The film stars John David Washington as Stallworth, alongside Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, and Topher Grace. Set in 1972 Colorado Springs, the plot follows the first African-American detective in the police department, who sets out to infiltrate and expose the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

The film is produced by Lee, Raymond Mansfield, Shaun Redick, Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, and Jordan Peele. Redick purchased the film rights to the book in 2015, and Lee signed on as director in September 2017. Much of the cast joined the following month, and filming began in New York State.

BlacKkKlansman premiered on May 14, 2018, at the Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or and won the Grand Prix. It was theatrically released in the United States on August 10, 2018, at the one-year anniversary of the white supremacist 2017 Charlottesville rally. The film received acclaim from critics, with many praising the performances (particularly of Washington and Driver) and timely themes, as well as noting it as a return to form for Lee.


The film opens on the set of Gone with the Wind, showing hundreds of dead soldiers during the American Civil War. It cuts to a "scientific explanation" of white racial superiority by Dr. Kennebrew Beaureguard.

In 1972, Ron Stallworth is hired as the first black detective in the Colorado Springs, Colorado police department. Stallworth is initially assigned to work in the records room, where he faces mistreatment from his coworkers. Stallworth requests to transfer to go undercover, and is assigned to a local rally by national civil rights leader, Kwame Ture, who has taken the name of African leaders. At the rally, Stallworth meets Patrice Dumas, the president of the black student union at Colorado College.

After the rally, Stallworth is reassigned to the intelligence division. While reading the paper, he finds an advertisement to join the Ku Klux Klan. Stallworth calls and pretends to be a white man, and speaks with Walter Breachway, the president of the Colorado Springs chapter. Stallworth recruits his white Jewish coworker, Flip Zimmerman, to act as him in order to meet the Ku Klux Klan members in person. Zimmerman attends a meeting and meets Walter, along with the more radicalized member Felix Kendrickson. Walter is excited to recruit new members, while Felix is more wary of the new members and suspects that Flip is a Jew. Zimmerman also speaks with another member named Ivanhoe, who cryptically refers to an upcoming attack.

Zimmerman and Stallworth continue to cultivate their relationship with the local Ku Klux Klan chapter. Under the pretense of expediting his membership, Stallworth calls David Duke, the Grand Wizard, or national director, in Louisiana, with whom he begins regularly conversations on the phone. Meanwhile, members of the local chapter become increasingly suspicious of Zimmerman, who has several inconsistencies with Stallworth in his stories. Kendrickson makes Zimmerman take a "Jewish lie detector test"? with a gun pointed at him, but Stallworth throws a rock through the Kendrickson family window to distract everyone. Zimmerman shoots at his car (purposefully missing him) and shouts racist epithets. Sgt. Trapp is furious with the pair but agrees not to tell the chief. Stallworth begins dating Patrice, but does not tell her that he is a police officer.

David Duke decides to visit Colorado Springs for Stallworth's induction into the Klan. Against his will, the real Stallworth, a black man, is assigned to provide security for Duke. After Zimmerman, masquerading as Stallworth, is initiated, Felix's wife Connie leaves the ceremony to place a bomb at a civil rights rally in order to silence Patrice. Stallworth realizes her intentions, and alerts local police officers. Felix directs Connie to use their back up plan of placing the bomb at Patrice's house. Before Connie can place the bomb, Patrice arrives home, causing Connie, who was unable to fit the bomb in the mailbox, to run and place the bomb under her car instead. Stallworth arrives at the scene and tackles Connie, but is immediately detained by uniformed police officers, despite his protests and claims to be an undercover police officer. Zimmerman arrives and frees Stallworth. Meanwhile, Felix, Ivanhoe and bomb maker Walker, who recognizes Zimmerman as an undercover cop, arrive and park next to Patrice's car, and, thinking the bomb is on the porch, detonate it, unintentionally killing themselves in the process.

Police Chief Bridges congratulates the team for their successful operation against the Ku Klux Klan, but orders them to discontinue. As he is packing up, Stallworth receives one last call call from Duke. Before hanging up, Stallworth informs Duke that he has been helping a black man join the Klan. Later, Patrice and Stallworth discuss their future together, only to be interrupted by a knock on the door. They go outside, and see a large flaming cross on a hillside surrounded by Klan members.

The film closes with video from the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, including footage of the white supremacists, counter-protesters, the car attack, and President Trump's statements after the events. The film ends with a memorial to Heather Heyer, the car attack victim, and an upside-down American flag.



Development and casting

In 2015, Shaun Redick, a film producer, brought the book Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth to QC Entertainment, where they then began adapting it into a screenplay. After the success of the film Get Out in 2017, which QC also helped produce, QC again teamed up with Jason Blum's company Blumhouse Productions, and Jordan Peele's company Monkeypaw Productions, to help produce the project.

In September of that year, Spike Lee signed on as director and John David Washington was in negotiations to star. The following month, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, and Corey Hawkins had joined the cast. In November, Paul Walter Hauser, Jasper Pkknen, and Ryan Eggold joined the cast, with Ashlie Atkinson joining a month later.


Filming began in October 2017. Ossining, New York was one location used in October.


On April 12, 2018, the film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered on May 14, 2018. It opened in the United States on August 10, 2018, which was chosen to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville rally.


Box office

In the United States and Canada, BlacKkKlansman was released alongside Slender Man, The Meg, and Dog Days, and was projected to gross around $10 million from 1,512 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $3.6 million on its first day (including $670,000 from Thursday night previews). It went on to debut to $10.8 million, finishing fifth at the box office and marking Lee's best opening weekend since Inside Man ($29 million) in 2006.

Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 97% based on 180 reviews, with an average rating of 8.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "BlacKkKlansman uses history to offer bitingly trenchant commentary on current events -- and brings out some of Spike Lee's hardest-hitting work in decades along the way." On Metacritic, which assigns normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 83 out of 100, based on 50 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 85% positive score and a 67% "definite recommend".

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film three out of five stars, writing: "It's an entertaining spectacle but the brilliant tonal balance in something like Jordan Peele's satire Get Out leaves this looking a little exposed. Yet it responds fiercely, contemptuously to the crassness at the heart of the Trump regime and gleefully pays it back in its own coin." For IndieWire, David Ehrlich gave the film a grade of "B+" and wrote that it is "far more frightening than it is funny," and "packages such weighty and ultra-relevant subjects into the form of a wildly uneven but consistently entertaining night at the movies." Alex Hudson from Exclaim! gave the film a rating of 9/10 and said: "Spike Lee's latest is all about America's current political moment, and the film's central concerns "? hateful rhetoric dressed up as "pride," prejudiced cops abusing their power "? feel viscerally relevant."

A. O. Scott, writing for The New York Times, saw the film as both politicaland provocative in opening up discussion on timely subject matter following Charlottesville. He stated, "Committed anti-racists can sit quietly or laugh politely when hateful things are said. Epithets uttered in irony can be repeated in earnest. The most shocking thing about Flip's (Adam Driver's undercover detective role) imposture is how easy it seems, how natural he looks and sounds. This unnerving authenticity is partly testament to Mr. Driver's ability to tuck one performance inside another, but it also testifies to a stark and discomforting truth. Maybe not everyone who is white is a racist, but racism is what makes us white. Don't sleep on this movie".


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result
Cannes Film Festival 19 May 2018 Grand Prix Spike Lee
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Special Mention

See also

  • List of black films of the 2010s

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