"Motherfucker": that's how director Spike Lee (repeatedly) described Donald Trump yesterday at Cannes Film Festival, as part of a broader criticism of the way that the U.S. president dealt with the deadly neo-Nazi riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year.
The 61-year-old filmmaker said that following the violence in Charlottesville, the United States president had the opportunity to denounce the Ku Klux Klan and the alt-right. Leaders around the world and in the United States denounced the violence, criticising the neo-Nazis in particular for adopting the violent tactics which ultimately lead to the death of a counter-protestor.
"We have a guy in the White House - I'm not gonna say his f**king name - who defined that moment not just for Americans but the world", said Lee.
Director Spike Lee poses for photographers during a photo call for the film "BlacKkKlansman" at the 71st global film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
The 1979-set film, loosely based on a true story, is about black police detective Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington, Denzel's son) and a Jewish detective (Adam Driver) who together infiltrated a Ku Klux Klan cell in Colorado. Before inserting footage of the auto that plowed through crowds in Virginia, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer, Lee said he telephoned Heyer's mother. Now we have our first look at how these events will unfold under Lee's cinematic supervision thanks to the first BlacKkKlansman trailer.
"Right before I started, we had a baby", Grace said. "They give us direction to make moral decisions", he continued, adding that Trump's encouragement of right-wing extremists is a worldwide issue. "Right away, I knew that this had to be the coda for the film, but I had to do something first", said Lee.
"The so-called American cradle of democracy, that's bulls-", he said. The United States of America was built on the genocide of native people and slavery. And I like to say this is not just something that pertains to the United States of America, this bullshit has gone over the world. As my Brooklyn brother Jay-Z would say, facts. It's not a black, white, or brown [problem], it's everybody.
"This film, to me, is a wake-up call", he concluded.
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