Spike Lee’s 'BlacKkKlansman' Is About The Undercover Cop Who Infiltrated The KKK

Focus Features has released the first image from Spike Lee's hard-hitting thriller 'BlacKkKlansman'.

The American filmmaker unveiled the film at Cannes earlier in the year, where he said it would open in theatres on the one-year anniversary of the violent protests in Charlottesville.

(Photo: David Lee / Focus Features)

Based on a true story, the film centres around Ron Stallworth, the first African-American police officer in Colorado Springs, who went undercover in 1978 to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

Under the guise of being a white racist, this local detective ran almost a year-long investigation, rising through the ranks of the organisation – holding "weekly conversations with Grand Wizard David Duke".

"I obviously didn't tell [them] my skin colour," he tells NPR, "I did most of the talking on the phone and when it came time for the face-to-face meetings, I would send a white officer in posing as me."

"I said I hated all nig**rs, Jews, spics, chinks, wops," Stallworth told Vice in a 2014 interview, "I used all the derogatory terms for the various races they like to use."

"And I said I wanted to do something about it, that I wanted - to use a popular term of the day - to take back our country from these people."

The film follows Stallworth, played by John David Washington (Ballers, Malcolm X) and his partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) as the two successfully thwart the Klan's attempt to take over the city.

It also stars Laura Harrier (Spiderman: Homecoming) as Patrice, and Toper Grace as David Duke.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Washington said: "The most outrageous part [about this film] is that it’s factual, that this happened."

Ron Stallworth with a copy of his book, Black Klansman, and his Ku Klux Klan membership card (Photo via Columbia College)

"[Ron] still has his Klu Klux Klan membership card to this day. He passed the card around for us to see and feel and it kind of just brought truth to everything he said, a validation."

According to Indiewire, when footage from the film debuted at CinemaCon, audiences were surprised by its "more absurd and comedic tone", with some reporters likening it to a "buddy comedy".

The movie is set to hit theatres on August 10, timed one year on from the protests in Charlottesville, where white nationalists and counter-protestors clashed over the removal of a Confederate statue. 

It turned violent when a white man with ties to white-supremacist groups drove his car into a crowd of demonstrators, killing one woman and injuring several others.

Writer and photographer from South London, UK. If you want to get in touch please email me at: matthew.kirby@konbini.com