Lee just premiered his latest film, BlacKkKlansman at Cannes. The movie, which got rave reviews out of the festival so far, is about a black cop (John David Washington) who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado by putting racist words in the mouth of a Jewish colleague (Adam Driver) who goes undercover in the organization. Though it’s based on real historical events, it’s also very clearly designed to address racial issues in our country today. The film even concludes with footage from the violence in Charlottesville last summer, after protestors clashed with white supremacists holding a rally.
Asked about that decision at the press conference after BlacKkKlansman’s first screening, Lee didn’t hold back, releasing his disgust with President Trump, and his initial refusal to condemn the alt-right and Neo-Nazis who held the rally.
You can watch Spike Lee’s comments here:
Here’s the transcript of what he said:
“We have a guy in the White House – I’m not going to say his [expletive] name. That was a defining moment, not just for Americans, for the world. And that [expletive] was given a chance to say we are about love and not hate. And that [expletive] did not denounce the [expletive] Klan, the alt-right, and those Nazi [expletive] It was a defining moment, and he could have said to the world … that we were better than that. The so-called [expletive] cradle of democracy? That’s some [expletive]. The United States of America was built upon the genocide of native people and slavery. That is the fabric of the United States of America.”
BlacKkKlansmen opens in theaters on August 10, one day before the one-year anniversary of the violence in Charlottesville. It will surely be one of the most talked-about movies of the summer.