BlackKklansman (PG) ***** – By Shirl Hollenberg

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Ace of Spades!

BlackKklansmanBold. Creative. Engaging. Pragmatic. Innovative. Daring. Adjectives like this barely scratch the surface when it comes to Spike Lee’s latest masterpiece. Wise Universal Studios smartly took the lead when it came to green-lighting BlackKklansman. Lucky for us this controversial look at a man’s quest for doing right turns out to be itching short of brilliant with a capital b. Share in all the excitement at The Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

Where to begin? Rumour has it that this story is inspired by true events. If that’s the case, then the tale is all the more impressive. Back in the early 70s large parts of America were still a cauldron of hate. Against this hostile background a rather “renegade” Afro-American decides to challenge the system. Living in a large white Colorado Springs upstart Ron Stallworth decides to apply to become a policeman. In a breakout performance James David Washington seizes the day and gets under skin of not only the police department but members of the black community and viewing audiences with his flamboyant style and message.

Not quite ready yet to integrate the head of the department against his better judgment allows Ron to be part of a special assignment involving the infiltration of the KKK. To pull this rouse off Ron clandestinely pretends to be white and with a little help from a friend, to coin a classic Beatles lyric, the con is on and the fix is in.

Aided and abetted by a non-too committed Flip Zimmerman, a non-too committed Jewish squad member these two cowboys enter redneck territory with reckless abandon. Audiences will flip out for Adam Driver in a much more reserved counterbalance to the over the top work of Washington who both masterfully play this game of deceit with total conviction and believability.

Yet again Spike Lee shows his complete mastery of both the film world, expression and connection. The atmosphere recreated here is so real you can taste the whole hostile tone of intolerance. Bolstered by a sizzling sound track, Intake film village of both old and current racial intolerance and upheavals and convincing characters who help tell this one if a kind story and you will walk away completely entertained and in awe of the two-hour film you have just experienced.