‘BlacKkKlansman’ Delivers Critical and Powerful Message
Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Contributor | 9/5/2018, 3:38 p.m.
“It’s no coincidence the film was dedicated and released on the anniversary of the Charlottesville attack and rally where Heather Hoyer was mowed down like a dog and murdered. It’s also no coincidence that the last image you see is the American flag fading to Black and White turned upside down. Perfect image analogy for where we are as a society.”
Renata said also that she believes Black Hollywood has a love/hate relationship with Black Press.
Most artists, actors, studios, publicists and films reach out to the Black Press at the start in order to get that word of mouth buzz happening, she said.
“Once the artist, actor or film has been accepted by mainstream media, their marketing/publicity teams abandon the same Black media that helped them gain acceptance in some of those arenas,” Renata said.
“We are almost treated like the ‘black sheep’ of the family that no one likes to talk about or acknowledge. It’s sad...but true,” she said.
Diarah N’Daw-Spech, the co-founder of ArtMattan Productions and the annual African Diaspora International Film Festival, said a number of Black filmmakers have used films to make social commentaries directly tied to serious issues in their communities.
She cited Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene whose film, “Molade,” served to denounce the mistreatment of women in his native country, particularly the practice of sexual mutilation, N’Daw-Spech said.
“Film is a powerful social media and a powerful source and tool for change. It is important for filmmakers in general and Black filmmakers in particular to realize and use their power through their film making the way Spike Lee and Ousmane Sembene do and did it,” she said.
N’Daw-Spech said the Black Press has always been a “natural ally” to Black filmmakers.
“Black Hollywood is one of the important platforms available to Black talent. Black Hollywood can use its influence to tell meaningful stories the way Spike Lee does it. When it does, the Black Press should support and celebrate it,” she said.
While “BlacKkKlansman” isn’t perfect, it’s insightful, timely and entertaining, Bennett concluded.
“The movie raises some important issues about racism, police brutality and stereotypes in classic Hollywood films like D.W. Griffith’s ‘The Birth of a Nation,’” she said.
“Spike Lee touches on a lot of hot-button issues, but he smartly sprinkles the film with humor, so that it’s not too heavy-handed. Can we talk about the ending of the film? It’s powerful, heartbreaking and will make you leave the theater thinking. I've encouraged everyone I know to go see this important film,” Bennett said.