By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, [email protected]
For the first time in his storied career, filmmaker Spike Lee captured an award at the venerable Cannes Film Festival in France, for what may be his most controversial film since 1989’s “Do the Right Thing.”
Lee’s film, “BlacKkKlansman,” won the Grand Jury Prize, the festival’s second most important award (the Palme d’Or is the top prize, which went to the film, “Shoplifters,” by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda). The film is produced by Jordan Peele (director of “Get Out”).
BlacKkKlansman is based on the true story of a Black Colorado police officer, Ron Stallworth, who successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970’s. Lee’s film, scheduled to be released in August, also includes footage from last year’s deadly White supremacist riots in Charlottesville, Va., and Donald Trump’s reaction.
“BlacKkKlansman” stars John David Washington (the son of Denzel Washington), as Stallworth, the first Black police officer in Colorado Springs, Co., who infiltrated David Duke’s Klan. The film also stars Adam Driver, who plays Stallworth’s partner Flip Zimmerman, who helps him infiltrate the hate group. The screenplay by Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott, is based on Stallworth’s 2014 book, Black Klansman.
On his way back from the festival, Lee showed passengers on his flight, including director Ava DuVernay, his award when they asked to see it.
“Let me tell you a small Sunday story. We happened to be on the same flight back to NYC. And I happened to ask to see his history-making Cannes Grand Prix Prize. And he happened to say yes. And then me and about 27 other passengers stood there and swooned and smiled. The End. Xo,” she wrote on Twitter.