Spike Lee is taking on white supremacists in his new film BlacKkKlansman, and moviegoers can get their first look in the just-released trailer.
The renowned filmmaker’s provocative project, which the teaser assures is “based upon some fo’ real, fo’ real s—,” tells the remarkable true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), who became Colorado Springs’ first black detective in the early 1970s. Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth mounts a dangerous mission to infiltrate and take down the Ku Klux Klan, enlisting the help of an experienced colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), to help him get inside the notorious hate group.
For the mission to be succeed, they must go undetected under the careful watch of Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace), who is attempting to tone down the KKK’s violent image and appeal to mainstream audiences. Stallworth becomes the voice of the operation, calling Duke’s office and spewing racist rhetoric, while Zimmerman acts as the face, physically immersing himself inside the KKK’s culture. Soon Zimmerman finds himself face-to-face with hooded figures, cross burnings, and shooting ranges filled with anti-black imagery.
“For you it’s a crusade, for me it’s a job,” Zimmerman tells Stallworth in the trailer, shortly before he’s seen being threatened with a “Jew lie detector test.” Stallworth tells Zimmerman, “You’re Jewish. That hatred, doesn’t that piss you off? Why you actin’ like you ain’t got skin in the game?”
Produced by Jordan Peele and the team (Sean McKittrick, Raymond Mansfield, Jason Blum, and Shaun Redick) behind his Oscar-winning hit Get Out, BlacKkKlansman held its world premiere Monday evening at the Cannes Film Festival, where Lee and his cast were on hand to present the film in competition to critics and the Cate Blanchett-fronted jury. The film is currently vying for the festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or prize against films like Asghar Farhadi’s Penelope Cruz/Javier Bardem mystery Everybody Knows, Jean-Luc Godard’s experimental narrative The Image Book, and Andrew Garfield’s peculiar thriller Under the Silver Lake.
BlacKkKlansman hits theaters Aug. 10, via Focus Features. Watch the film’s first trailer above.