Set amid the racially charged atmosphere of America in the 70s, ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is a dark comedy directed by the visionary Spike Lee. The film is based on an incredible true story of the first black police officer in Colorado Springs police department, who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan, Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington. In this endeavor he is aided by his partner Flip Zimmerman played by Adam Driver, a Jewish police officer. Stallworth talks to the Klan on the phone and Zimmerman pretends to be him when meeting the Klan members. This leads to various funny scenes, but the comedy doesn’t overshadow the ugly reality of racial prejudice prevalent in the society, even in the police department itself. From obvious remarks like “mongrel nation” and “Jewish puppets on the Supreme Court” uttered by white supremacists, to the condensation Stallworth suffers at the hands of his fellow police officers and superiors, Lee shows that racists come in every shape and form. The movie also tackles how Hollywood at first glorified the symbol of racial prejudice –the confederacy in movies like ‘Gone With the Wind; (the 1939 American Civil War classic.) The chemistry between the two leads, Washington (son of Oscar winner Denzel Washington) and Driver is spot on and their scenes together natural and organic. Although the movie is more about race than anti-Semitism, white supremacists hate both and this creates a bond between the two. Ironically, while the outward struggle of Stallworth (Washington) against the Klan, and a prejudiced police department seems greater, yet his acceptance of who he is and is belief in himself never wavers, even when he is sent to spy on his own people –the Black Panthers Organisation. Zimmerman (Driver) on the other hand is not that comfortable with his Jewish ethnicity or as he himself confesses that he never thought about it much, this is not a character flaw of Zimmerman, but a reflection of the American society were anti-Semitism although existing has always taken a back seat to racial prejudice. Stallworth never had the option of ‘not thinking about his race’; he couldn’t hide the fact that he was black, so instead he chooses to embrace who he is. If only in this, he is better off than Zimmerman, who in the end realises that he too will always be regarded as different, no matter how “American” he believes himself to be. In the end this movie set in the 70s, is relevant in Trump’s America. “Set over 30 years ago, the potent relevancy of this film is in how the language it mocks is now part of the national discourse, emanating out of the White House itself,” writer Alci Rengifo. Published in Daily Times, December 22nd 2018.