Black Klansman

Jeri Jacquin

This week on 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and DVD from director Spike Lee and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment comes the memoir to screen of BLACKkKLANSMAN.

In Colorado Springs, Colorado it is the 1970’s and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is about to become the first black officer in their department. Placed in the records department, he knows that the other officers are talking about him. Knowing he isn’t going to be able to take that much longer, he applies to do undercover work.

His personal life is also about to change when he meets Patrice (Laura Harrier) at a rally given by civil rights leader Kwame Ture (Corey Hawkins) at the black student union. On their way home, Patrice is pulled over by a local racist cop and Ron knows he must do something. Transferred to the intelligence division of the police department, immediately he finds his first case. Using his ‘white voice’, Ron calls Walter Breachway (Ryan Eggold) who is the leader of the Colorado Springs chapter of the KKK expressing interest in the group.

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Talking on the phone is one thing, but meeting up in person isn’t going to work out to well for Ron so he is joined by Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) who is the white face behind the white voice. He meets Walter and listens to the rhetoric and meets more of the group members. Keeping it going, Ron takes it up a notch calling Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace) and beginning regular conversations with him. But, one of the members thinks that the white Stallworth is really a Jew and they learn some of the KKK members are military.

Duke comes to Colorado Springs to be part of Stallworth’s joining of the Klan and they soon learn that someone is threatening Patrice’s life. As quickly as it all began, no one could have possibly seen the direction and lengths the Klan members are going to and Ron isn’t about to let any of it happen. There is also one more person that he isn’t about to let walk away from the things he has done.

Stallworth is going to have the last say!

Washington as Ron Stallworth is a man going through changes without even realizing he needed to see the changes. Becoming the first black officer in his department is clearly going to be emotionally strenuous but it is what happens after that appointment that truly has an impact. Meeting Patrice and taking on the KKK with the help of Zimmerman is going to be the most impactful and most dangerous thing he has ever done. Washington gives a stellar performance that doesn’t stop from the moment he is on screen to the films end.

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Driver as Zimmerman isn’t sure how to handle what Stallworth is suggesting for the investigation of the KKK. Once it begins, ever move he makes can be his last. He has to be in synch with Stallworth in order to be the face behind the voice of a supposed white man and racist. Driver continues with this film to give another memorable performance filled with the emotion of a man that can relate to the hate his partner feels.

Eggold as Breachway just scares the living dickens out of me with his performance. There is something sinister about the way he looks. Having seen his performances on the series THE BLACKLIST and his newest series NEW AMSTERDAM, this role is not only totally different from those but I can’t stop watching the depths in which he portrays this racist leader.

Grace as Duke is totally enraptured with Stallworth and their continuing conversations all the while showing that he is just another ignorant individual who hates for the pure sake of hating. That’s what Grace brings to the role, not being afraid of taking this character straight into our faces so we can join Washington in hurting our necks from shaking our heads in disbelief.

Harrier as Patrice has no idea that the man she is seeing is a police officer and that’s for her own safety. She is a strong woman who believes that everything is worth taking on and fighting for. She sees something in Stallworth and trusts that he believes in their cause of justice, even if sometimes he has to make sure she is as far away from what he does as possible.

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Other cast include Jasper Paakkonen as Felix Kendrickson, Paul Hauser as Ivanhoe, Ashlie Atkinson as Connie, Michael Buscemi as Jimmy Creek, Ken Garito as Sgt. Trapp, Damaris Lewis as Odetta, Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Mr. Turrentine, Harry Belefonte as Jerome, Robert Burke as Chief Bridges, Frederick Weller as Patrolman Landers, Nicholas Turturro as Walker and Alec Baldwin as Dr. Kennebrew Beauregard.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us all to experience and re-experience in our own home theatres. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.

The Bonus Features of BLACKkKLANSMAN include A Spike Lee Joint – Producer Jordan Peele, cast and film subject Ron Stallworth discuss the unique experience of working with iconic director Spike Lee and  BLACKkKLANSMAN Extended Trailer Featuring Prince’s ‘Mary Don’t You Weep’.

The 4K Ultra Combo Pack includes the 4K Ultra HD Bluray, Bluray and Digital and has the same bonus features as the Bluray version all in stunning 4K resolution. Also included is Movies Anywhere which is the digital app that allows consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place through streaming and downloading.

The script for BLACKkKLANSMAN is written by Charlie Wachtel, Kevin Willmott and David Rabinowitz along with Spike Lee. The story comes from Ron Stallworth’s book BLACK KLANSMAN that was released in 2014. Immediately it received the Grand Prix at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

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Spike Lee has once again brought a film that, although set in the 1970’s, resonates today with the themes of hate, anger, fear and those who will bring all of it down. They put their lives on the line to bring the dark evil out into the light and Lee is well known for it.

BLACKkKLANSMAN brings out stellar performances from a cast that clearly embraces the story Stallworth tried to tell. In the midst of what is going on in our world, it could be easy to forget that the film is set in the 1970s.

The use of humor gives a mixture of a momentary laugh followed by an uncomfortable shifting. Taking on racism full force, the film doesn’t seem to give one wit if it makes you laugh or makes you cry – just feel something, anything, as long as it resounds in the affirmative so acceptance becomes the norm and not the occasional. Fight for what is right for not just some but for all.

In the end – infiltrate hate!

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