Spike Lee’s new film a ‘wake-up call’ on racism

A day after American director Spike Lee’s (pictured) new movie BlacKkKlansman received standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival on Monday, he said the graphic documentary footage of a protester killed at a 2017 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville was included as a coda to the film to awaken the world to the reality of racism. The documentary part shows a Nazi sympathiser’s car attack on legal assistant and civil rights activist Heather Heyer and 19 other counter protesters from different angles taking even images captured on cell phones by onlookers.  James Fields Jr. of Ohio drove his car into the group protesting against an event that drew hundreds of neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan and ‘alt-right’ supporters to Charlottesville last August. Lee’s film also includes news footage of Trump, without mentioning him, in which the president says the Charlottesville white supremacists included “some very fine people” who should not be blamed for violence he attributed to “both sides”. The director called the US president’s response a ‘defining moment’ for America. The movie is set for release on August 10, two days before the first anniversary of Heyer’s death. Heyer’s mother Susan Bro has given Lee permission to include the car attack scene in the film. BlacKkKlansman is based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, a cop on the Colorado Springs, who in 1979 infiltrated the KKK by posing as a white supremacist. Lee’s film moves from a period drama to the documentary to show the world that racism is still a reality whether it happens in Charlottesville or elsewhere or it involves a black, brown or a white. The film ends with the powerful image of a US flag turned upside down fading into black and white.