“BlacKkKlansman,” directed by Spike Lee, is based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, Colorado Springs’ first black cop, who infiltrates and puts a stop to local klan efforts. The most iconic scene in the movie occurs when Stallworth dials a phone number found in a Ku Klux Klan newspaper ad and finds himself talking to David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK. From there, Stallworth, along with a Jewish cop named Flip Zimmerman, works to infiltrate the KKK. Zimmerman acts as an undercover cop while Stallworth continues to establish contact over the phone.
The ridiculousness of the movie’s premise feeds into a comedic tone that emerges frequently within the movie, but the movie itself is not a comedy. Humor is used to provide comedic relief between the intense scenes and imagery. The scenes in which Zimmerman uncovers the Ku Klux Klan’s plans and training while in the belly of the beast are particularly anxiety-inducing and can be exhausting without relief. However, sometimes the humor undermines the seriousness of the themes presented in the movie.
From the clothing to the music, the recreation of 70’s culture helps capture the mood of the era. However, though the movie takes place in 1979, viewers are inundated with not-so-subtle allusions to today’s society. Do not expect any nostalgic escapism in this movie. Overall, BlacKkKlansman is an enjoyable movie with the comedy, 70s nostalgia and groovy music, but these elements serve to emphasize the dark themes of the movie and leave viewers to reflect. The movie, released on the anniversary of the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, ends with footage of the rally as well as video of the car driving through crowds of counter protesters at the rally.