Directed by Spike Lee
Finally, a movie that deserves its place, that isn't just here because it will attract normies to the List. While I wish some moments of this film had been handled with a bit more subtlety, I am still very glad I saw this. I hope it isn't replaced in future editions with Marvel's Phase Two of Chapter whatever the hell.
In the late 70s, Ron Stallworth, the first black police officer in Colorado Springs, fools a local division of the Ku Klux Klan into thinking he is white over the phone. He recruits a Jewish coworker, Flip Zimmerman, to act as him to meet the Klansmen. The division of the Klan is predictably made up of braindead rednecks united by their hate and inability to pronounce certain words. Ron suspects they are planning a terrorist attack. At the same time, Ron grows closer to Patrice, the president of the Black Student Union, who doesn't know his J-O-B is a police officer. Patrice thinks all police officers are pigs but Ron thinks he can change things from within.
My sister is a kindergarten teacher, and a student asked her the other day "why do police shoot people?" I guess she didn't feel like explaining institutionalized racism (which goes beyond one racist cop just spoiling it for everybody in the department, Lee!). Lee draws very strong parallels between Ron Stallworth's world in the late 70s and today's political climate. Despite the 70s hair cuts and slang, you can tell he is not very interested in creating a period piece. This was a bit heavy handed at times; I felt I was being spoon-fed certain points. I do feel like there is more power in subtlety. No white person is going to watch this and see their own behavior in any of the racist white people's actions in the film, or if they would they wouldn't be watching this movie in the first place. Although I guess Lee's never been interested in studying microaggressions. For the most part, I enjoyed the grim foreshadowing, though it makes me feel very hopeless (I don't think there is a shot in hell that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named isn't reelected).
As a side note, does the KKK still make its members watch Birth of a Nation? That would mean they hate black people SO MUCH they are willing to pretend to like silent movies. Very chilling.
Ron Stallworth actually never used a "white" voice on the phone and still got away with passing as white. So put that in your pipe and smoke it (at least five feet away from me).
Topher Grace said playing David Duke left him so depressed that he edited Peter Jackson's The Hobbit into a two hour movie for fun. Is this available?? Toph, DM me.
Jordan Peele pitched the idea of this movie. Why couldn't he have directed?