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BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Spike Lee Takes on the Interracial Buddy Film with Charles I. Nero, Bates College

Colorado Springs, late 1970s. Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer, and Flip Zimmerman, his Jewish colleague, run an undercover operation to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

Charles I. Nero, the Benjamin E. Mays ’20 Distinguished Prof of Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies at Bates College, led a discussion on February 3, 2020 examining Spike Lee’s film BlacKkKlansman in relationship to that Hollywood staple, the Interracial Buddy Film. These films began in earnest during the Cold War with Hollywood using interracial male friendship to combat Communist appeals to people of color in the US and continue to the present day as one of Hollywood’s most profitable film formulas. Spike Lee subverts the interracial buddy formula and creates civic consciousness-raising about the persistent presence of white supremacy in America today.

Rated R. 128 mins.

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