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BlacKkKlansman – Festival de Cannes In Competition Prospectus

BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee – United States

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IN A NUTSHELL

An adaptation of the book Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth, this film follows an African-American detective (played by John David Washington) in Colorado Springs, who infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Stallworth and his partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) risk their lives to penetrate the KKK at its highest levels. Surprisingly, this is actually based on a true story, and perhaps more surprising is that Lee has opted to present this film as a black comedy rather than a straight period drama. (by Bianca Garner)

CRITICS RESPONSE

“An incredible true-life story told in a boisterously exaggerated way, BlacKkKlansman is certainly Spike Lee’s most flat-out entertaining film in quite a long time, as well as his most commercial.” – – – – – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“Lee is toying with us a bit here; we know that this is a story that will make us uncomfortable in its frank depiction of deeply racist rhetoric and dialogue but he’s going to ease us into it. Is Spike getting soft? Hardly.” – – – – – Erik Anderson, AwardsWatch

” The ovation that came at the end was raucous and I expect similar receptions will not be uncommon. However, there was the distinct feeling, surrounded by all my fellow light-skinned liberal Europeans, of a film preaching to the choir.” – – – – – Rory O’Connor, The Film Stage

PRIZE POTENTIAL

Spike Lee’s return to the Cannes Film Festival generated genuine buzz, a filmmaker still admired from afar following what some would label a run of poor form, others just a few shifts of direction. His new film is definitely in keeping with why we loved Lee in his rebellious, brilliant early years.

So enraptured were audiences with his return, and finding a mercifully entertaining film waiting for them, many critics are swearing by the sword Lee cannot be prize-less come the big night. I’ll play devil’s advocate, I just don’t see it as concrete. That wacky press conference won’t hurt his chances, it could have gone very wrong, I just think the commercial aspect might split the jury. This is Cannes after all.

 

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