Director Spike Lee returned to the Cannes International Film Festival for the first time since his 1991 hit “Jungle Fever.”
His latest film, “BlacKkKlansman,” premiered in France on Monday evening before a crowd of eager festival attendees. The film is based on the true story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, even going as far to become head of the local chapter.
John David Washington stars as Stallworth. His film career is just starting to flourish recently. He also plays a police officer in another film out this year, “Monsters and Men,” which premiered at Sundance. Washington is proving himself to be a strong actor in his own right, a fact which probably makes his famous dad proud.
Washington stars alongside Adam Driver, who plays the white officer who stands in for Stallworth during face-to-face meetings.
Perhaps the biggest casting surprise is that of Topher Grace, who plays the infamous David Duke. The film also stars Harry Belafonte, Robert John Burke, Laura Harrier, and Paul Walter Hauser.
As the premiere began, Focus Features released the official trailer via the “BlacKkKlansman” Twitter feed. Watch it here:
— BlacKkKlansman (@BlacKkKlansman) May 14, 2018
As the Cannes crowd filed out of the theater, they began posting their reactions to the film. Many of the reactions are positive, at least from the (mostly white male) press contingent. We’ve been working hard to find a diverse collection of reactions.
— Maria Wiesner (@MariaWiesner) May 14, 2018
— Alisha Rouse (@AlishaRouse) May 14, 2018
BLACKKKLANSMAN is electric, and its final moments are inspiring, painful and invigorating in that order. It is also, frequently, fucking hilarious, in a way that hurts. #Cannes2018
— Emily Yoshida (@emilyyoshida) May 14, 2018
— Andrea Mandell (@AndreaMandell) May 14, 2018
#Blackkklansman is Spike Lee’s best movie in years.
— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) May 14, 2018
Wow. BLACKKKLANSMAN just ripped the sky open at #Cannes2018. One of Spike Lee’s finest films. A major work.
— Matt Dentler (@MattDentler) May 14, 2018
BLACKKKLANSMAN: draws on the past to talk about today, using laughter, action sequences, drama, shock, calls to action. Entertaining, with an ending that truly punches you in the gut. Holds up a mirror to the America that is tough (but important) to see #Cannes2018 pic.twitter.com/vOlYRv6yJl
— Alicia Malone (@aliciamalone) May 14, 2018