August 9, 2018 / 10:44 PM / 8 days ago

Spike Lee hopes Trump watches KKK film 'BlacKkKlansman'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Director Spike Lee says he wants U.S. President Donald Trump to see his new movie “BlacKkKlansman,” an impassioned, tense but often funny movie about race relations in the United States across the decades.

“BlacKkKlansman,” based on the true story of an African-American police detective in the 1970s who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, arrives in movie theaters on Friday.

Lee has said the movie is specifically timed to mark the anniversary this weekend of last year’s violent clashes between white nationalists and anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which one woman died.

Trump last year drew broad criticism for blaming both sides for the violence and news footage of the protests is included in the film.

“I want the guy in the White House to see it too. I don’t say his name though,” Lee told Reuters Television at a Beverly Hills premiere of the film on Wednesday.

“When I saw the horrific act of domestic, American homegrown terrorism, I knew right away I wanted to do this,” Lee said of the events in Charlottesville.

Topher Grace, who plays 1970s Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, said the cast and crew were struck by the movie’s contemporary relevance while filming.

“It gets more and more timely with every second that passes, sadly. This film shouldn’t be more timely now than when it takes place, but unfortunately it is,” Grace said.

“BlacKkKlansman,” also starring Adam Driver and John David Washington, has won warm reviews, scoring a rare 100 percent approval from top critics on aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Several critics have called it Lee’s best film in years.

The New York Times called it “a furious, funny, blunt and brilliant confrontation with the truth. It’s an alarm clock ringing in the midst of a historical nightmare.”

Director Spike Lee poses at the premiere for "BlacKkKlansman" in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Reporting by Simon Thompson for Reuters Television

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