Boots Riley Critiques Spike Lee and The ‘Blackkklansmen’
Spike Lee is a legend; straight up. This is the guy that made thought-provoking films in the form of Do The Right Thing, Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Malcom X, and the list goes on. So, last weekend when Lee’s critically acclaimed BlacKkKlansmen came out, I was in point-blank.
I couldn’t put my finger on what bothered me about BlackKkKlansmen because structurally the movie was sound with great performances from Adam Driver and John David Washington (Denzel’s son). However, I couldn’t help but feel slightly patronized while walking out of the theatre and not really being able to put my finger on what bothered me.
This past Saturday, Sorry to Bother You director Boots Riley launched into Spike over a Twitter essay, taking apart the film.
Okay. Here’s are some thoughts on #Blackkklansman.
Contains spoilers, so don’t read it if you haven’t seen it and you don’t wanna spoil it. pic.twitter.com/PKfnePrFGy
— Boots Riley (@BootsRiley) August 17, 2018
There’s a lot to read to digest here, and I encourage you to read the three-page essay in its entirety. I can say as someone that watched the film not knowing the back story behind the film (these days I tend to glass over anything that reads “based on a true story”), and definitely not realizing that it’s based on the memoirs of Ron Stallworth, large parts of the movie felt contrived and bent into a narrative. Not that this isn’t something that’s done often by many filmmakers, but Lee seems to be taking credit for drawing a parallel that didn’t actually exist. I’d still suggest seeing the film as it’s an interesting conversation.