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Looking under the hood of Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'


Update: "Blackkklansman" has been nominated for six Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director (Spike Lee, who is up for the first time in his career), Supporting Actor (Adam Driver), Best Editing, Adapted Screenplay and Score.

We're 88Nine’s Justin Barney and Milwaukee Film’s Kpolly. We're buds, we like cinema—we’re Cinebuds. This week on the podcast, we’re talking about Spike Lee's latest film, "BlacKkKlansman."

Read more and listen to the full episode below to hear us talk about the surreal, but true story of a black officer infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan. The two also talk about the criticism of the film from the "Sorry To Bother You" director, Boots Riley.

"BlacKkKlansman" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it not only won the Grand Jury Prize, but the film also received a 10-minute standing ovation.

The plot of the film is based on a true story. It tells the story of a Ron Stallworth, a black undercover officer played by John David Washington. He infiltrated the Klan via telephone by convincing them that he is a white nationalist. He realizes to pull this off, Stallworth needs a white officer to actually physically show up. He enlists Flip Zimmerman played by Adam Driver ("The Last Jedi," "Force Awakens") to take down the Klan from the inside.

During the investigation, Stallworth is dating Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier) who is part of the Black Student Union organization in Colorado Springs. Stallworth and Dumas possess this dynamic where one is fighting racism on the inside and the other is fighting it from the outside.

"BlacKkKlansman" is more than the obvious scenario of the KKK vs. people of color. The film highlights the intricacies of Stallworth's relationship to his role as a police officer and his relationship to the black community. Spike Lee does a very good job of bringing out these intricacies throughout the film.

Another aspect that Lee does well is how he incorporates various historical moments into the film.  He uses film and images from the beginning of cinema that features images of black men and women. There is a discussion of the disturbing film, "Birth of A Nation" and then Lee ends the movie with footage that brings you to the present, tying it all together.

We loved it. Go watch it ahead of the Oscars. "BlacKkKlansman" is available for streaming now.

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Cinebuds is brought to you by Associated Bank.