• Dragon Media

REVIEW: BlacKkKlansman is not just a film it is a warning

By Niamh Crawley

I just finished BlacKkKlansman and well, I can’t sleep. So instead I am writing this review, although it does not feel right to call it a review because this is so much more than just a film.

Despite trying to wrap my head around the fact that the events depicted in the film actually happened, I am still in a state of disbelief. I guess that stems from the very nature of white privilege.

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

Before anybody comes for me, I am well aware of how late I have been in getting around to watching this film, but in the current political climate, it's better late than never.

Ron Stallworth, played by John David Washington, is the first African American police officer and detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department. During this time, he successfully infiltrates the KKK ranks and carries out a nine-month-long investigation.

The film is a masterpiece, which I honestly cannot fault. I am still struggling to find the right words to describe the film and the impact it has had on me.

It portrays an all too real horror of America, as well as other parts of the world, including the UK.

We like to think of ourselves as progressive, past racism, homophobia, and sexism, but that is far from the truth.

A perfect example of this would be when Stallworth and his Sargent are talking about David Duke running for office and Stallworth’s belief that the people would never elect a man like Duke for office… fast forward to 2016 and America (along with the alleged help of some Russians), elect Donald Trump to be their president.

I found the end of the film the most impactful is when Ron looks out the window to find the KKK burning a cross outside. The scene then cuts to a video filmed in 2017, where you see modern-day Americans marching down the streets, spewing racist, anti-semitic, and white lives matter chants.

The tape then jump cuts to a group of black lives matters protesters being run over by a car. This is followed by a clip of Trump giving a speech in defence of these actions.

As a child, I grew up learning about the fights against racism, fascism, homophobia, and sexism. I knew I was privileged because I am white, and I knew that things like racism and fascism still exist.

What I did not expect was to witness racism and fascism rise and gain power during my teenage years and THAT is what scares me.

We are living in a world where people we deemed unelectable like Trump can gain power and supporters unless we do something about it.

We are living in a world where Neo-Nazis can march freely in the streets in gangs with torches or driving fast cars through crowds and killing people.

We are living in a world where men still think they can gain control over women by making laws about our bodies.

We are living in a world where Muslims are being thrown into concentration camps in China, LGBTQ+ folk are being thrown into concentration camps in Chechnya, and black men, women, and children are being shot and killed by racist policemen in America.

We are witnessing a repeat in history and we need to do everything in our power to stop it.

BlacKkKlansman is not just a film it is a warning. A warning to what is coming, and what has already happened.

Fast forward to 2020, November 3rd, the US general election. The message of BlacKKKlansman is more crucial than ever before. Whatever the results of the election, the fight is not over, but how easy the level of the fight will depend on which candidate wins this election.

- Niamh Crawley (@niamhcrawley_)