The film is based on the book “Black Klansman,” penned by retired police officer Ron Stallworth, the first African American cop in the Colorado Springs police department. In 1979, he responded to a want ad in a local paper seeking individuals to become members of a new Ku Klux Klan chapter. Stallworth, played by John David Washington film, recruits a Jewish police narcotics officer (played by Adam Driver) to go undercover and meet with the Klan.
The audience at Cannes were so moved by the film, their applause began before the end credits started, and remained demonstrating their approval for 10 minutes.
Member’s of the festival’s jury, led by two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, says, they discussed how Lee’s film, “…transcends the limitations of its culture. Spike has made a film that is quintessentially about an American crisis and yet all of us felt connected to it. That, we felt, really elevated its importance even more.”
This from fellow jury member, and three-time Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay, “As an African American filmmaker, I was completely taken by the film.” “I’ve imbibed every film he’s ever made. It was startling and stunning. But when I walked into the jury room, I decided to listen to my jury members. It was a robust dialogue…emotion and energy from these artists from all over the world.”
“BlacKkKlansman” is set to debut Aug. 10, the one-year anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville, VA. white nationalist rally.