BlacKkKlansman – What’s the Difference?

BlacKkKlansman – What’s the Difference?


40 years ago, the Colorado Springs Police
Department’s first black officer launched an unprecedented,
undercover investigation into the KKK. 35 years later, detective Ron Stallworth
detailed his experience of infiltrating the hate group in his memoir
titled Black Klansman.>>Just four years later, Spike Lee
brought the book to the silver screen. 2018’s BlacKkKlansman was
greeted by critical praise, and a fair share of controversy. The movie’s up for a handful of
Oscars including best picture, Spike Lee’s first nomination for
Best Director, and most importantly, for this show’s premise,
Best Adapted Screenplay.>>A lot has changed,
politically speaking, since 2014. So how did Lee update Stallworth’s story
to reflect our modern political climate?>>I guess it’s time to conduct
our own investigation and ask, what’s the difference? (Laugh)
>>There is one very significant difference that we should
address right off the bat, and that is a distinct difference in tone. Stallworth writes the book
like a police report. It’s a very presentational,
just the facts, kind of read. In the book, Stallworth simply
warns of the Klan’s potential for infiltrating the government. He’s very explicit, citing David Dukes
election to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1989.>>In the film though, Spike Lee
dramatizes Stallworth’s fact-based account of his time undercover and
interprets the events to craft a message. It’s just as frank and explicit, but Spike
Lee asserts the Klan’s philosophies have already permeated to the highest office. With the election of Donald Trump and
the rise of Alt-Right nationalism in 2017, Spike Lee concludes in just the few
short years since publication, Stallworth’s fears have
been fully realized.>>So it’s no wonder that BlacKkKlansman
was arguably the most talked-about film in 2018. And with that, let’s get into the story.>>The film introduces
Ron Stallworth in an interview at the Colorado Springs Police Department
as he becomes the first black officer in the city’s history. Ron is assigned to the records department
where he spends all day pulling files and enduring derogatory slurs
from his fellow officers. The worst offender is a character
created for the film, Master Patrolman Andy Landers.>>But in the memoir, Ron Stallworth begins his law enforcement
career at the tender age of 19, becoming the first African American to be
enrolled in the Cadet program, woo-hoo. It’s on his 21st birthday that he
becomes a full-fledged police officer. But Ron also confronts prejudice
within the department, but it goes beyond offensive slurs. When Ron and a coworker compare
their celebrity crushes, the white officer admits that he’d never
considered black women in terms of beauty.>>In both the book and the movie,
Ron goes undercover at a speaking event featuring ex
Black Panthers’ Stokely Carmichael. The film deviates from the book by
inventing a love interest in the form of student activist, Patrice. Not only does Lee utilize her
character for a romantic subplot, she also embodies the black
empowerment movement, and is later put in direct conflict
with master patrolman, Andy Landers.>>But in the book Patrice doesn’t exist. Ron is already dating the woman
that would later become his wife. By creating Patrice and Landers, Spike Lee
is able to efficiently represent both systemic racism and
the resistance movement to it. Stallworth, of course, touches on
this conflict throughout his memoir, but the movie is able to cover most of his
commentary by distilling it into these two characters. But back in the story, book Ron gets
transferred to narcotics and vice, where he spends three years working
cases before investigating the Klan.>>In the film, the investigation begins
shortly after Stallworth’s assignment at the activist rally. Ron answers a recruitment ad for
the KKK by phoning the listed number and amateurly leaving his real
name in a voice message.>>Did I just hear you use your real name? (Sound)
In the memoir, Ron answers the ad by mail,
but still signs his real name, not thinking the inquiry was
going to lead to an investigation.>>The movie hyperfocuses on this one
investigation involving Ron Stallworth, his team of agents, and
a local chapter of the KKK.>>The book, however, is much larger
in scope, covering more players, more departments, and a vast network of
hate groups and activist organizations.>>In both mediums, Ron selects a white
agent to portray Ron Stallworth during in-person encounters with the Klan. In the movie, that man is Flip Zimmerman,
who struggles with his Jewish identity, and begins to evaluate his personal
investment in the organization.>>In the book the agent
is known only as Chuck. Chuck is never described as Jewish. He’s also not the only undercover
agent involved in the field. (Noise) Later their third agent,
Jimmy, joins a local KKK chapter and a fourth agent joins the Denver chapter. Even Ron himself goes undercover
at leftist groups known for their violent rhetoric, such as the
International Committee Against Racism.>>The movie simplifies, leaving Flip
alone in the field to grapple with his inner conflict as he avoids
detection by the Klan members.>>The Klan members.>>Yeah, let’s talk about these assholes.>>In the movie, the local Klan
consists of the leader, Walter, and his crew of cartoonish henchmen. Felix, the right-hand man who’s
suspicious of Flip from day one, Felix’s enthusiastically racist wife,
and this guy who we’ll just call Dopey, even though his name is Ivanhoe
in the movie, which is dopey.>>In the book, the Klan is led by Ken. Hi, Ken. Neither he nor the other members are as
cartoonish as their movie counterparts. But Stallworth describes the men as so
outlandishly racist and inept that it crosses into
the realm of absurdity.>>Is that how you light the crosses? Yeah, I saw it on a James Bond movie.>>And while neither Felix nor his wife
exist in the book, Ken’s wife does make a brief appearance at a meeting and,
ironically, is of Mexican heritage.>>It’s during Flip’s first Klan meeting
that the movie’s central threat is revealed, a possible bombing. Throughout the case, Ron and
his team investigate the validity of the threat culminating in a climax
wherein Ron heroically saves Patrice.>>But in the book, the Klan’s threat
is less immediate and tangible. There are no literal explosions. The focus is on their desire to expand
in ranks and spread their philosophy. But Ron makes it his purpose to keep their
message of hate from reaching the people. They thwart cross burnings and
rallies, they identify Klan members, battle recruitment efforts in prisons, and keep volatile clashes between
protestors from erupting in the streets.>>One of the most fascinating aspects of
the story is Ron’s faux friendship with Grand Wizard David Duke.>>Who am I speaking with?>>This is David Duke.>>The movie keeps all of the best
moments, from their conversations on the phone, to Duke’s visit to
Colorado Springs, in which Ron, assigned as Duke’s bodyguard, tricks Duke
into posing with him in a friendly photo.>>Book Ron also feels the high of
humiliating David Duke in a photo. But the good feeling is short lived. In a chapter omitted from the film, Ron
watches Duke convincingly lie with twisted logic during a televised debate
with a black history professor. Ron recognizes Duke’s gift of gab,
and it breaks his heart to see him slip hateful rhetoric
into more palatable language. (Noise)
>>In both the book and movie, the local chapter wants
to elect Ron as leader. Movie Stallworth avoids
the situation altogether.>>But book Stallworth actually considers
it, which leads the chief to obsess over the possible PR nightmare that the
investigation in general may cause, and orders Stallworth to destroy all of
the evidence that the investigation ever existed. Of course, he ignores that directive and saves the bulk of the evidence
to write the book. He describes leaving the office as
the phone rings but never picks it up. The investigation is over, and
no arrests were ever made.>>The movie does its best to provide
a few satisfying conclusions for the audience. The villains are defeated,
the racist cop is arrested, and the investigation ends but not because
of the possibility of bad press. Flip’s cover is blown in the chief
ends his support due to budget cuts. And just when you think it’s going to
fade to black with that ringing phone, movie Ro picks it up to give
David Duke one final humiliation.>>Are you sure you don’t know who he is? (Laugh)
>>Both the book and the movie leave us with a burning cross, signaling that
the Klan is still very much around.>>In the book,
it’s lit outside a black-owned nightclub, the first cross erected since
Stallworth infiltrated the Klan.>>Instead, Spike Lee places
the cross outside Ron’s home. A stylized dolly shot indicates Lee is
about to break away from the narrative reality, cutting to real life footage
of the White Nationalist march and subsequent violence in Charlottesville. It’s a wake up call for everyone watching. White supremacy is alive and
well in America. Ron Stallworth’s warnings from 2014 have
turned into Spike Lee’s message in 2019, and it is fucking terrifying.>>So that’s how Spike Lee adapts this
unlikely story of an investigation into the Klan. He narrows the focus, adds a love plot, gives the white agent skin in the game,
invents more tangible threats, and provides real world examples of
the dangers of white supremacy in America. But the artistic license Spike Lee
employs goes one step further. There’s a meta-narrative
at play here as well.>>One of the film’s most effective
sequences features Harry Belafonte telling the very true story of
Jesse Washington in the early 1900s, and his lynching while some
15,000 people watched. In the film, the story is intercut
with a Klan induction ceremony, giving us an image of an audience learning
about the horrors of the past while the Klan is literally
plotting against them.>>Of course, this sequence doesn’t
take place in Ron Stallworth’s book, but it is a perfect example of the difference
between a man’s memoir and the film inspired by it. Perhaps the intention of including the
scene was to put us in the same situation as the students listening to
Harry Belafonte’s character. Today, just like then, we’re learning
about the horrors of the past, while White Nationalists are plotting. (Music)>>That’s it for this episode. Be sure to like this video and subscribe
to CineFix for more What’s the Difference? (Music)

100 thoughts on “BlacKkKlansman – What’s the Difference?

  1. So it's an entirely fake movie made cover up the fact that the government actively works to silence unpopular political opinions and portray whites as evil.

  2. Instead of using Ron's experience infiltrating both black and white hate groups to demonstrate the fault on either side and remind us that they only exist as reactions to one another at this point. Predictably it was a movie about the Orange Man and basket of deplorables.
    It's not like violence done by white supremacists is a strong part of what creates black supremacists and vice versa. Lets just perpetuate the kneejerk shit flinging so Spike Lee can keep his career.

  3. You do realise that the dozen white supremacists in Charlottesville lasted about 10 minutes and only got violent because of Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA stepping in and making a scene as they always do.

  4. I hated this movie. It's sooo on-the-nose and not funny. The only thing I learned watching it was that the KKK is bad. Thanks movie, I didn't know that.

  5. I'll be completely honest. The only reason I watched the movie was to see how much of it was filmed in my hometown, Colorado Springs. As it turns out, not really any of it was. There were a few shots thrown in of Garden of the Gods but that's pretty much it. Great movie though. There were a few lines of dialogue of street names and whatnot that were totally accurate and I thought that was interesting

  6. The film is only anti-white if you, a white person, personally identifies with groups like the KKK, Proud Boys, etc

  7. The real reason white supremacy is still around and thriving is because we gave such a huge push to white people to stop racism that instead of stopping it we became the racists constantly shaming white people and their culture. It’s because of this that America regressed and white supremacy became a new “defense” of whites across america. Because of the constant bashing of white people and their culture it caused more radicalism and led to a divide in America instead of unity.

  8. So Spike Lee took real events andin order to dramatize some BS propaganda. And now he's crying like a little witch with a capital B because he didn't win best picture.

  9. Yet, the KKK is dying out, white nationalists are only a view thousand strong and the real thread of Antifa fascism is a growing thread, but no movie about that would be considered for any film price like the oscars, just not the right kind of virtue signaling.
    Racism wont die, thats a sad truth, but i think the best thing to beat it at least is to just ridicule actual racists, though most racists nowadays are black and middleeastern so ridiculing them for being racist is "racist"

  10. He had to be Jewish, that scene with Driver and Washington when he said he had never been Jewish but now it's the only thing he could think of, it was really poignant, I loved it.

  11. Howls Moving Castle is having its 15th anniversary soon and i thought a Whats the Difference episode on it would be sick.

  12. You guys did comics before, hows about the looney ass mayhem of a Tv show, “Happy!” And yes it’s a really messed up funny book too.

  13. I loved the YMS Oscar video where they replace Spike Lee's face with Waluigi's; he's such a cartoon these days. The poor man's race baiter is what I call him. For the most part, I liked BlacKkKlansman, but then you get to the end 2017 Charlottesville's incident montage, and then, BOOM, straight to Trump. That's when it lost me and reminded me it's a Spike Lee film. Your politics are yours obviously; you do you, but that part………….😑

    And for those who are unsure, or those who wanna try twist my words, the part where it goes straight to Trump is where it lost me, not the Charlottesville incident itself.

  14. So basically, the movie takes a real and change it to be more dramatic and entertaining. Like most Biography films. A great film nonetheless

  15. Did you seriously just say Donald Trump who condemns all forms of racism was the reason for the rise of alt right nationalism? Jesus Christ you guys are literally just spouting the same uninformed BS that is permeating all forms of media. Donald Trump literally won an award for NOT being a racist, employs more minorities and women than any other major CEO, and has literally been called not radical ENOUGH by the alt right. I'm so tired of this bullshit. Black Kkklansman was an entertaining movie that was advertised as a comedy but ended up being a decent historical movie with an unfortunate 10 minute or so monologue about how terrible white people are. Entertaining, sure. Great? Fuck no. Worthy of an oscar? Only because it checked several of the boxes on their ballots. The acting was nothing to write home about, someone phoned in the directing, the dialogue was witty but had mediocre moments, and as far as cinematography it was pretty basic. Nothing to write home about. Good movie, worth a watch, quickly and well forgotten.

  16. the klan in the 1970s was real. the klan in 2019, is only an imagination of radical leftist extremists, and their own victimhood complex.

  17. This movie was fun, but it was way too political, Spike lee also made the movie way too anti white. Yes, alt right, mostly white people, is pretty bad, but the alt left, mostly people of colour, are no angels either, BLM and Antifa ralleys end up in riots and destruction more than half of the time they hold them. I am not defending the kkk here but I think he could have showed that not everything is as black and white as one side is good and one side is bad. Both sides are pretty bad, especially at the moment, and this movie felt like an anti white commercial whitch could only increase the hate the sides already have for each other.

  18. This movie was okay until it heavy-handedly threw the racists of the Charlottesville Riots on the screen along with Donald Trump disavowing both them, and the ‘violent’ group on the other side (Antifa) though the movie obviously never tries to show this – only despicable acts of white racists.
    This wouldn’t be a problem if the movie wasn’t trying to make the statement that even the president of the United States is onboard with ‘white nationalism’
    Personally not one of my favorite Spike Lee movies. It really could’ve done without the faux statement on current politics.

  19. I don’t know if I missed something and these guys are just cursing freely now, but the uncensored “… and it is fucking terrifying,” at the end of the video is probably the most impactful use of suddenly uncensored language I have ever heard.
    The first time I’ve ever heard this man’s uncensored use of the word “fuck,” and they make it count. The horror of what he’s saying in that statement came through to me in a whole new way.
    Good job guys.

  20. Spike Lee is a great Filmmaker but his hatred of white people and their assumed power has allowed him to twist a story where no bomb and no arrests and where another Government agency oversteps infiltrating groups and suppressing group association. It would be ok if he just told the story as a movie put in the normal based on actual events, but instead inserts dufus stereotypical characters, we all love to hate, to portray real characters and at the end of his movie a twisted and media hyped account of Charlottesville. No wonder it hit Netflix so fast. I read articles on the movie at the time, and knew it was insidious. but just watched this and want to thank cinefix for bringing the truth to bear. It was entertainment. The movie with the plot that kept interested, and cops where good actors and besides David Duke being an creepy ass in movie as real life the rest is Hollywood. Kinda like Birth of a Nation to real life. Fitting it was in the movie like a pict of mirror showing mirrors.

  21. Hay, there a lot of people of color whom are Republicans. Stop it, there are so many people claiming this racist narrative, we had it with bush, with the tea party, Ronald regan, and so on.

  22. Wait you guys understand that most black and white common citizens don't feel like we're fighting one another…. right?

  23. creating a character out of nothing to be a stereotype. That's why it's better to just read about the person or the original source.

  24. So what dif we learn for this completely unobjective film?
    1) ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE RACIST.

    2) BLACK PEOPLE THAT GO AROUND BOMBING, KILLING AND DESTROYING PROPERTY ARE HEROS.

    3) BLACK ARE FLAWLESS PEOPLE AND ALL WHITE ARE DUMB.

    4) BLACK ARE ALWAYS 100% INNOCENT AND NEVER GUILTU OF CRIMES, IT JUST RACIST WHITE COPS BEING WHITEAND THEREFOR MUST BE RACIST.

    YEAH THIS MOVIE WAS AMAZING. LIKE 2HRS OF BUZZFEED…. PUKE!!!!

  25. I'm disappointed he moved the message from "hate groups are bad" to "white hate groups are bad", I was really hoping the dark side of the Panthers would have been explored more and that Patrice realized her group was bad as well and not all the cops where bad and shee was just caught up, just like the Klan members. Instead it's "nah it's only white people who are a threat"

  26. what i watched wasn't this political. what i mean is take your woke agenda and shove it up your ass i watched a great movie stop trying to make everything about trump. You have trump derangement syndrome.

  27. 1:09 "…Lee interprets the events to craft a message…[that]…the Klan's philosophies have already permeated to the highest office." Klan Primary Source documents cite The White Race, America First, The Constitution, Free Enterprise, and Positive Christianity as "Ideals A Klansmen Stands For in their undated Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Handbook. It is almost identical to Republican Conservatism. The manual comes from David Duke's tenure which far proceeded the Trump Administration. Lee was right, but people who don't know about the Klan just THINK he is drawing the line to Trump. If Lee made this movie 25 years ago you would call it prophetic.

  28. I was aware of some of the differences, (not all, thank you for pointing them out) but I still thought it was a very poignant film. Lee still has a talent for style and evocation, and he certainly puts it on display here. Does the film exaggerate the true story? Yup, but I found it quite enjoyable, and ultimately, pretty eye-opening as to how far backwards we've seemed to start moving when it comes to race relations in this country. If this were released 10 years ago, it would've turned people off, but given what we've seen in the past 3-5 years in particular, I thought it was a pretty appropriate dramatization of a true story that really matters. I personally think it's a great film, and one of the best in Lee's body of work. Just my opinion guys.

  29. Oh, no bomb, no arrests, no deaths, no jewish cop and no photo. But it's a true story. LoL
    What is true, a black guy was convicted of rape and lynched, defending a rapist just because he's black, who knows maybe he was innocent but can't you come up with a less controversial person? You went back 100 years for this one convicted rapist, don't you have a college student with straight A's as a victim???
    The video footage of people saying "Jews will not erase us" and the car footage of a WHITE person being killed, nothing to do with blacks, nothing was said about blacks.

  30. Spike Lee is a typical Hollywood looney leftist. The propaganda at the end ruined it. Maybe he should make a film about liberal’s love of killing babies, and Hollywood’s strange sex cult fascination. Eat shit Spike.

  31. So let me get this straight. The true story is that there were no bomb plots, no racist cop and no arrests were ever made.

    The movie completely makes up all of that out of their fucking imagination. So what I take from this is that we should be scared if imaginary plots, and racists who don't exist who committed crimes that never actually happened.

    Are you people retarded?

  32. Hahahaha 'merican's and your petty bullshit… you never were a real country or a nation. just a bunch of dumb morons living close to each other.

  33. Although this isn't your most enthusiastic review, you seemed straightforward and gave us the real differences.
    Not a fan of the one-sided propaganda from Lee, since it ages more poorly than a movie that shoehorns the space race. I'd say it's an amazing way to get into the book.

  34. 1:00 is pretty much modern USA in a nutshell isnt it ? We adapt the more "fact based" report. into a MESSAGE, yes because facts dont matter anymore, only messages! talk bollocks all you like as long as it underlines the message…..

    Instead of going with those pesky BORING nonspectacular facts that make people fall asleep.

  35. Hatred of other people's race a credit other people's religion hatred of other people's ideas were they are what are there from the sexual orientation who they love and who they care for it and they are gay bye straight transgender people with hate Youmans despise humans hate what it's not them we have destroyed we have hurt we don't like people that are other countries we don't like people that share a different idea than us in a way this is why I hate humans

  36. The movie and book are prophetic… and, to date, it was the only time in a movie theater when someone took it upon themselves to apologize and hug me.

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