Spike Lee put footage of Charlottesville protester Heather Heyer's murder in 'BlacKkKlansman'

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Lee, whose "Do The Right Thing" lost the Palme d'Or top Cannes prize to Steven Soderbergh's "sex lies and videotape" in 1989, may fare better this year, given the reception and early reviews.

From visionary filmmaker, Spike Lee comes the first trailer for his BlacKkKlansman An unflinching, true-life examination of race relations in 1970s America which could be set in today's world. Ron Stallworth - the first American-American cop on the Colorado Springs, Colo., police force - who in 1979 infiltrated the KKK by posing as a white supremacist. Stallworth is so good playing white, he ultimately winds up becoming the head of the chapter. To do so, though, the rookie needs help, and he finds it in his colleague Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), who is Jewish. Really? At a time when African-American directors are having mainstream success like never before, from Barry Jenkins and his Oscar-winning Moonlight to Ryan Coogler and his record-breaking Black Panther, trust Spike Lee, for so long the contrary figurehead of black cinema, to head in the opposite direction and make a film that sounds like a half-baked comedy skit.

The movie, which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festical, stars John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier and Topher Grace.

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View the discussion thread. Now, the trailer has been released.

Lee's comments about Heyer and the Charlottesville formed the start of what turned into a five-minute monologue, during which he discussed Donald Trump - "I'm not gonna say his fucking name" - and hatred, both in the United States and around the world.

He was given permission and used the footage in the movie because, "That was a murder and we have a guy in the White House who had a chance to say we are about love and not about hate and that motherf***er did not denouce the Klan, the alt right and those Nazi motherf***ers".

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BlacKkKlansman earned a rare 10-minute standing ovation at the festival. "Mrs. Bro said, 'Spike, I give you permission to put that in.' Once I got permission, I said, 'Fuck everybody else, that motherfucking scene is staying in the motherfucking movie.' Cuz that was a murder".

"And I like to say this is not just something that pertains to the United States of America, this bulls**t has gone over the world".

BlacKkKlansman - which Cannes attendees have largely hailed as his "masterpiece" and a "savvy indictment of Trump-era bigotry" - hits theaters on August 10, two days shy of the one-year anniversary of Heyer's death.

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