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Spike Lee: “People need to register to vote”

POWER: Spike Lee believes people need to engage with the political process to combat burgeoning far right movements

SPIKE LEE’s latest film BlacKkKlansman is a triumph. The satirical comedy based on the almost unbelievable true story of a black undercover detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan is released in the UK later this month and the director hopes that it will encourage people to engage in the political process in order to combat the rise of racist movements.

Speaking yesterday at the BFI during a Q&A that was streamed in cinemas around the country, the esteemed director said he had refrained from sharing what he wanted the takeaway from his films to be in the past, but in light of the current political climate, he had changed his tune.

He said: “People need to register to vote...we’ve got to become mobilised.

“I just hope this film might give people a little push to take time to register to vote.”

Lee, who refuses to call President Trump by his name, instead referring to him as agent Orange, makes explicit references throughout BlacKkKlansman on the need for people to wake up to the rise of the far right and how those pushing racist policies are creeping into politics.

The 61-year-old director is making no secret of the fact that he wants this film to be a rallying call to unregistered and registered voters – and not just those in the United States, but around the world.

RISE UP: Lee wants his film to rally people

He said the fundamental issues that the film highlights are not particular to the United States.

In a time when the far right is on the rise and when film’s power to incite violence is as potent as ever, Lee was asked about how he handles the fact that his films could encourage people to take action – and not always of the peaceful variety.

He said that such filmmaking required being careful and responsible.

“This is nothing to play with,” he said.

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