Spike Lee unveiled his new film “BlacKkKlansman” last night at the Cannes Film Festival and in a passionate monologue slammed the U.S. president without mentioning Donald Trump by name for his reaction to last year’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The director’s latest movie is based on the true story of a black police officer who managed to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan; it ends with footage of last year’s neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, which resulted in the killing of Heather Heyer after violence erupted between the Nazi protesters and counter-demonstrators.
Following the tragic event, President Trump refused to denounce the white nationalists, stating that there were “some very fine people” on both sides.
“That motherf**ker was given a chance to say We’re about love and not hate, and that motherf**ker did not denounce the motherf**king Klan, the alt-right, and those Nazi motherf**kers,” an emotional Lee said at the beginning of a press conference for his new film. “He could have said to the world, not [just] the United States, that we’re better than that.
“We look to our leaders. They give us direction to make moral decisions,” he continued. “And I like to say this is not just something that pertains to the United States of America, this bulls**t has gone over the world. This right-wing bulls**t is not just America, it is all over the world, and we have to wake up.
“We can’t be silent. It’s not a black, white, or brown [problem] — it’s everybody. We all live on this planet, and this guy in the White House has the nuclear code.”
Lee said that “BlacKKKlansman” is a “wake-up call” to show the truth of what is going on in the world. “I know my heart, I don’t care what the critics say or anybody else, but we are on the right side of history with this film.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the audience gave the movie a six-minute standing ovation following its premiere on Monday night at the famous film festival. Lee was previously overlooked for the Palme d’Or in 1989 for “Do the Right Thing,” and has made no secret of his disappointment over the years.
“BlacKkKlansman” is scheduled for release on August 10, coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville riots.