Spike Lee is back y’all!
His newest film BlacKkKlansman, which is based on a true story about a Black police officer infiltrating the KKK in the 1970s, was recently awarded the Grand Prix–second place award–at the Cannes International Film Festival. The first-place prize–Palme d’Or–went to Japanese director Hirozaku Kore-eda’s Shoplifters.
As the 61-year-old accepted his award, he thanked his hometown of Brooklyn, The Los Angeles Times reported.
“I take this on the behalf of the People’s Republic of Brooklyn, New York,” Spike told the audience.
He added that when he is asked about the state of the world, he quotes the film title “‘The Year of Living Dangerously.’ I repeat, ‘The Year of Living Dangerously.'”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Jordan Peele produced BlacKkKlansman is being honored in this way. When it debuted at Cannes earlier this week, it received a 10-minute standing ovation.
As W magazine describes, in the blaxploitation-esque film “John David Washington plays Ron Stallworth, the first black police officer in Colorado Springs, who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s using a telephone line, and a white Jewish coworker, played by Adam Driver, as his avatar.”
Peep the trailer:
Ava DuVernay, who sat on Cannes’ eight-person jury, was especially touched by Spike’s new joint, IndieWire noted.
“As an African American filmmaker, I was completely taken by the film,” she said. “I’ve imbibed every film he’s ever made. It was startling and stunning. But when I walked into the jury room, I decided to listen to my jury members. It was a robust dialogue…emotion and energy from these artists from all over the world.”
She also added that there “were questions specifically about the African-American experience and this moment we’re in, in America,” but noted the jurors were “united by the love of cinema.”
Spike is no stranger to the prestigious film festival: Twenty-seven years ago, his first feature film She’s Gotta Have it competed there and he’s shown six of his films there in total.
BlacKkKlansman hits theaters on August 10.