BlacKkKlansman (2018) – Infiltrate Hate

What we always fear from each individual is how racist we are. Whether when you meet people of different races even when you watching porn, we always feel awkward and sorting them out. Instead, humans are one species with a variety of races, religions, genders, and etc. But, what distinguishes us as human beings is a rule. Animals don’t often treat other types of kinds differently. However, they know what they are. Why do humans have something that almost animals have? In fact, animals still have empathy for humans and compassion for other animals. Humans think that their group is superior to other groups.

Yet, people love that. People really love politics, propaganda, hoaxes, and discrimination. The more we discriminate certain parties, the more we realize that our conscience is more “advanced”. Defamation arises everywhere, human nature becomes uneven. This creates a more severe and further difference. What is behind us? What is waiting in front of us as well? Equality, power in seeing a difference, perfection as if we were the richest, the most luxurious, the strongest. We are fed up with, but this parallel connection seems to be popping up.

The Ku Klux Klan or should I just say, the Organization, is one example history notes understanding radicals in such an extreme way. They understand that perfection lies in their group of the white race. Regardless of whites, they are enemies, rubbish, and natives. They understand the ideology of white supremacy, anti-immigration, neo-nazism, antisemitism, Christian terrorism, anti-communism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Islam, anti-LGBT, anti-everything. In essence, they uphold the white supremacy of the American people if they are the natives. Like D. W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation”, they have a history of massacring black people and even white people who protect blacks. Today, KKK still exists. They appeared in a uniform in the form of masks, white robes, with its KKK symbol. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X also intervened. They both voiced equality. Humans are still humans who have the same degree.

This Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” was based on a book written by Ron Stallworth’s “Black Klansman” without K in the middle. This film is a form of struggle in response to racism. As if, Lee tried to push as strongly as possible the human consciousness about racism. The film tells the story of Ron Stallworth played by Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington. As if John David was a reincarnation of his father’s shadow from “Malcolm X”. He was a Colorado Springs police officer who tried to infiltrate a local KKK group. He wanted to know what their plans were after seeing the KKK leader’s telephone number in a newspaper. Ron is a black person and even the police and other people, including white people, wonder why he can become a police officer. More unique, he “joined” the KKK without triggering a bullet.

Ron communicates with David Duke (Topher Grace), a comical character but a real person. Ron tried to make friends with them, understand their way of thinking, try to find out their plans and steps. When asked to attend the KKK meeting, Ron was represented by Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). Flip is a Jew relatively safe with white skin. But, the risk is on him. The situation they experienced was really crazy. However, this haunting biopic is actually told through its dark humor and irony. In fact, this film is dark, especially at the ending of the movie is full of symbolism and very horror yet real. Lee seems to be trying to do it balanced so we always want to know what’s going on.

This film explores the chemistry between John David Washington and Adam Driver. They clash each other with different races. Adam Driver as a Jew and John David Washington as a black person. John tried to be able to be heard as a white person speaking by telephone. Because he is very fluent in two accents. David Duke himself also assesses where the accent differences are here as they argue how the sounds of “are” in black and white people. In fact, Ron and Flip deceived him right now.

Adam Driver plays two characters alternately where he must hate black but not really. Not that Ron gets his safe zone here. He must be able to infiltrate the KKK circle while taking surveillance photos. Unlike Flip, Ron sneaked into a Black Student Union, a student organization voiced black power. Arbitrarily, this film includes two voting rights in turn. There are white power and black power.

Stereotypical is a strong character. Similarly, we view police as hating black people. We often stereotypically Jews and white people too. Even though the film has many satire irony scenes, Lee represents it in a comical way. Just like when Ron was interviewed for the first time, Ron’s answer made me laugh as hard as possible. But, that’s the danger. This film is very weird but dangerous, very comical but serious. The horror lies in how the situation in it is very relevant. Like the ending footage that shows the white supremacy at the time of the Trump administration. It might be the horror of the real David Duke while voicing his speech. Not that everything is safe. The world is now insecure and more insecure, while it lasts. It’s increasingly worse both in America and in other countries that have different but similar issues of racism.

I love the fact that the movie opens with the first opening scene from “Gone with the Wind”. As with “The Birth of a Nation”, Lee doesn’t make a tribute here. Instead, he tried to remind us Hollywood or film industry also has a dark age. “BlacKkKlansman” has many exaggerated aspects but made funny. Lee’s approach is not much different from films about racism in general. So, this film can be enjoyed by the mainstream audience. Most critics and audiences judge this film because of historical inaccuracies. Unlike “Bohemian Rhapsody“, this film has spices from the story delivery.

“BlacKkKlansman” is a very, very important film for everyone to watch, which captures the perfection of humor and tragedy. This is the best Spike Lee work since “Do the Right Thing”, “Malcolm X”, and “Inside Man”. This film is very upside down, even surprisingly, why isn’t this film didn’t released in Indonesia. All the actors in this film gave all their performances. Spike Lee’s direction also feels like this film uses all his trademark in previous films. The film was successfully brought to a community shutter.

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Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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