“BlacKkKlansman” director Spike Lee and film star John David Washington open about the African-American cops working in the current political climate.
Spike Lee is returning to the big screen with “BlacKkKlansman,” a film based on the life of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer in Colorado, in the 1970’s, who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in addition to his Jewish police partner.
Lee and the movie star, John David Washington, is open about the film’s dense plot and how it addresses the current political climate, by addressing problems such as voltages, the current administration and the police brutality against the African-American men.
“My co-writer, Kevin Willmott, who took the job, knew that as storytellers, we had things in the movie that is connected to the current day, so that people not only look to us as a period piece, a history lesson,” Lee told Fox News during the “BlacKkKlansman” press junket in New York.
Adam Driver and John David Washington, play officers Flip Zimmerman, and Ron Stallworth who trick of the local KKK in a study.
(Focus Features via AP)
John David Washington, who is the son of actor Denzel Washington, said he was proud to Stallworth, who he called an “American hero.”
“You’re doing the right thing, just do your job the right way,” he said about his character. “Always remind yourself why you decided to protect and to serve your community, to protect and to serve, people like you and I — strangers, really.
“What you do is, unfortunately, a thankless job, that I think should be given more credit and marked — men and women of color to do their work on that side of the law,” Washington added.
(Focus Features via AP)
The 35-year-old actor continued on to say that he was inspired to play Stallworth and hoped to shed light on more people on the enforcement of the law, just like his character.
“One of the motivating factors for me was to be able to play these man and put him on display,” he said. “People who, just as he [should] stand up and be proud of what they do and know that they make a difference.”
Lee said he hopes “BlacKkKlansman” sparks a dialogue about America’s current political climate.
Lee said that while black cops “have it hard,” he hopes that his film will lead to a conversation about the country’s current racial tensions.
“I respect the audience’s intelligence is too much to tell them what they should think, but when they see this film, people are going to have their opinions. One of the great things about the ‘Do the Right Thing,” when that film came out, the people in the [cinema] lobby they would discuss who did the right thing,” Lee said of his classic 90’s movie.
He said that he expects a similar response on “BlacKkKlansman.”
“I think this movie is going to generate that same discussion, which I think is great, because we need to talk about what the F is going on today. People should be vigilant, be smart, and stop for the ‘okie doke’ because the people are … and we have to speak truth to power.”
Lee’s “BlacKkKansman” hits theaters on Friday, Aug. 10.
You can find Morgan M. Evans on Twitter @themizfactor.