Blackkklansman Review

Katherine Hogan

Blackkklansman is the unbelievable true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who was the first African American police officer in Colorado Springs in the early 1970s, and his plan to infiltrate Colorado Spring’s chapter of the Ku Klux Klan with the help of fellow officers Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) and Jimmy Creek (Michael Buscemi).
Blackkklansman has a great cast all around and the uses of humor were well timed and much appreciated.  This movie tells the story of a daring adventure, but it also sent a message about America’s present situation in politics with the KKK members eerily echoing phrases from the alt-right such as “America first”.  This message continues with an ending montage of current day events that I felt was not totally necessary but none the less moving.  The montage was well done with clips of rioting, President Trump’s claim that there was “blame on both sides” and the real-life Duke (the KKK’s grand wizard in the movie) who was a supporter of President Trump during the election.
I also enjoyed the character development throughout the movie.  For the majority of the movie Ron Stallworth hides his job as a police officer from his girlfriend Patrice (Laura Harrier), but the couple often talks about philosophy and one time they have a conversation about how they feel like they are two people because of their racial identity. Ron Stallworth struggles to come to grips with being a police officer and being African American.  His fellow officer Flip, who is Jewish, also confronts how he used to feel like he was “just another white kid” but now he is thinking about his Jewish identity more and more often as he is forced to deny it to infiltrate the KKK.
One thing that I also really enjoyed was the cinematography throughout the movie.  The most striking example is the parallel editing used when the KKK was having a meeting and the black student union was having their own meeting. The KKK wore their white robes and the black student union wore black because they had a speaker who was telling them about the lynching of his friend and they were morning. The two groups were both meeting and it switched back and forth very hauntingly.
Overall, this isn’t a movie that is trying to say that nothing has changed since the 60’s and 70’s, but that racism is enduring and is not a problem we as a country are finished with.  Not only does Blackkklansman have a potent message for our country at this time with our current political atmosphere, it was incredibly well done in many of its components such as casting, cinematography and overall scripting.