BlacKkKlansman is a film that is on the right side of history. The film debuted at Cannes De Festival to a standing ovation. This Spike Lee film brings the present day current event to their historical ties with this film of Ron Stallworth's real-life story.
Director of engineering, Spike Lee presents BLACKkKLANSMAN, an incendiary film inspired by the life of Ron Stallworth, the first police officer African American to have infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. Against all odds, the agent Stallworth (John David Washington) and his partner (Adam Driver) Flip Zimmerman will infiltrate the highest echelons of the Klan, to stop him from taking control of the city.
Actors at Festival De Cannes:
Spike Lee ~ Director/Writer
Adam Driver ~ Flip Zimmerman
Topher Grace ~ David Duke
Laura Harrier ~ Patrice
John David Washington ~ Ron Stallworth
BlacKkKlansman Current History
Spike Lee discusses How surreal the tragedy of Heather Higher being run down at Charlottesville Virginia protests brings coda to this film. Her death took place after the film's completion. Lee put it in the film to see what happened. When he saw what happened he knew this was the final scene.
He states, "I had to do something first. I was given Susan Bro's, mother to Higher, phone number. I was not going to put that murder scene in that film without her blessing. Mrs. Bro said, 'Spike I give you permission to put that in.' They collected footage and photos from those at the time of Higher's murder to get the best coverage of this horrific unnecessary murder. Higher should be alive today. The president of the United States could not stand up to the world to say we are about love, not about hate, we are better than murdering a young woman.
Lee goes on to speak about the building of the United States of America (USA) from the genocide of Native Americans and slavery. This is the fabric of the USA. This scene had to go in to show that our leaders are giving us a direction that is not moral. This is a worldwide problem. It is not a black, brown, and white world. We all live on this planet. We have to stand up and stop being silent.
Jordan Peele pitched the story of Ron Stallworth. Lee thought it was a comedy skit. When he realized it was a true story he brought Kevin Willmott in to write the screenplay. There was one thing that Lee understood in making the film it had to the current climate. The situations today did not just pop up but they have been around for decades.
The focus of the story was to tell this period piece while connecting to present day. The movie needed to end in the present day. Lee says, "I did not have the crystal ball, even though my friends call me negrodamus. The ending was not written. But Spike Lee joiners you got to flow, can't be rigid, got to be hip, on it. There is no way in the world I could not make that the end of the film. The screenplay is based on the book by Stallworth, Black Klansman.
Chaz Ebert asks about the language in the film and if it is necessary to use the tone and word choice. Lee answers "words are hateful. Words can be hateful and I don't think I was elaborating on how the Klan not only hates Blacks they hate Jews, they are number two on the list. They don't speak lovely terms and those words are harmful. The way we had them speaking in the film this is the way they speak every day. It was my decision to hear those words. I wanted the hate to be verbalized."
BlacKkKlansman Cast and Crew
Lee states, "This is very simple we tell the story. That is what we do. I don't do this shit alone. I am a general manager of a sport's team. It is like sports. Put the best players out there. Filmmaking is a collaborating effort. It is some hard shit. Filmmaking is hard shit. You got to go to work. Learn your craft and do your research." You want to put the best people behind the camera to make the best film you can.
Barry Alexander Brown is a film editor, a great editor. He is able to create the final scene from footage taken from people’s phone. He was able to demonstrate the needless death of Higher and that she should be alive now.
Chayse Irvin, cinematographer He is amazing this was shot on film not digital. We really wanted to have the look of seventies films split screens. I forgot shooting with film takes a lot of time because it has been so long since working with film.
John David Washington (son of Denzel Washington) his is character Ron Stallworth. Washington was able to learn from Stallworth about what he was going through he is like the Jackie Robinson of police. Took a lot to get that position. While Stallworth was protecting and servicing Colorado Springs he prevented terrorist violence. There were no violent acts during this time on the police force. The others who supported him that were white in the department. One black man, he was very well supported.
I wanted to inhabit his spirit. Setting up the environment was a great collaborating environment. Your abilities become unlimited. Blessed to have this experience glad to be a part of this experience.
Adam Drive, his character Flip Zimmerman, We had a week or two to talk about it before. The research helps but you have to let that go when you get on set. Pay attention to what is being said by you and cast. Playing music on my iPod assisted. Spike creates a very that best idea wins very familia. Best ideas win, a very egoless set. Everyone had a life outside the filming and we got home at a decent hour. Spike sets the tone that it is easy that you feel free to fail.
Topher Grace, his character is David Duke, KKK Grand Wizard. He read My Awaking by David Duke, watched Donahue when the KKK was on the show, and listened to his radio show. Grace recalls being asked to play in a Lee film, "This is one of the happiest times in my life followed by one of the worst times when I realized the character I was going portray." He felt the responsibility to get it right, but no did not feel the responsibility to Duke.
How did Grace capture this? The script did a really good job of creating the KKK and David as a leader. Spike is a great coach. There was a day I had to something that was really evil. Spike said, "Try this a Nazi salute and said white power. I rarely affected by filming but was in a very bad space." Lee assisted him with it is in service in with a message that you agree with even though you don't agree with the character you are playing.
Laura Harrier, her character Patrice, she tried to inhabit the spirit and time period. Meeting her real-life character helped her embrace the character’s life and relationships and her spirit. She watched the black pattern footage, listened to the music. Having a great team and taking Spike's guidance.
Lee talks about the message believing in hope. Many of my films are hope like Do the Right thing is a hopeful film. I am not blind or deaf. I think you can be hopeful but be aware. This film will be seen around the world. This is a global problem. I do hope that other people from other countries will see that this is happening where they live. I get hope to do that this film shakes people from their slumber. This is a very important film. People having a hard time coping. In our hearts, we know what is right and wrong. We have wrong staring you dead in our face mums the word, you are supporting the opposing causes.
The film will release on the one year anniversary of Charlottesville demonstration August 10, 2018
Connect With us here for your best lifestyle:
Festival De Cannes® connections here:
Connect with BlacKkKlansman here:
[Submitted by Tammy Forchion]