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BlacKkKlansman

2018 | 135 min | K-12 | biography, comedy, drama, thriller

Colorado Springs, late 1970s. Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer, and Flip Zimmerman, his Jewish colleague, run an undercover operation to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan.

After watching the movie, you can have a discussion about the following questions:

  • Who were Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, and how do they relate to the events in the movie?
  • In the movie, both the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers are featured. What are these organizations, and whose interests did they represent?
  • How does the Black Lives Matter movement, presented at the end of the movie, relate to racial tensions in the United States, especially with regard to the U.S. police force?
  • Towards the end of the movie, there is a depiction of a terrorist act that occurred in Charlottesville in 2017, where an extremist drove a car into a crowd, killing one person and injuring 35 others. Why did the movie also include President Trump’s statement condemning both sides of the protests?
  • What does the upside-down American flag shown at the end of the movie symbolize?

After watching the movie, you can also do the following tasks:

1.Small group work on the themes of the BlackKklansman movie and the development of civil rights in the United States.

Divide the students into small groups, with each group selecting one topic related to the themes of the “BlackKklansman” movie and racial tensions in the United States. The themes can include Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, the Black Panthers, the Ku Klux Klan, Black Lives Matter, and so on. Ask the groups to explore various sources and critically evaluate them. Each group investigates its chosen theme and considers the following questions:
-In what decade did the chosen individual or phenomenon have an impact or occur?
-If it’s an organization, when was it founded? Did the organization have a leader or other well-known individuals associated with it?
-Whose interests did the individual, organization, or phenomenon represent?
-What happened? Describe the sequence of events using examples.
I-n what ways did the individual, organization, or phenomenon influence the discussion on civil rights in the United States? Did their actions have broader societal impacts?

2. Small group work on the themes of the BlackKklansman movie and the history of far-right extremism.

Divide the students into small groups and ask each group to choose a far-right extremist movement or group that has had an impact in Europe or the United States in the 20th or 21st century (e.g., the Ku Klux Klan, Oath Keepers, Golden Dawn, Jobbik, National Front). Ask the groups to study the history, ideology, methods, and significant events related to their chosen extremist group. The groups compile presentations based on their sources, which they present to the rest of the class. Finally, discuss together:
-How do the chosen far-right extremist movements relate to the “BlackKklansman” movie?
-To what extent does the movie reflect reality in the 1970s or today?
-How does far-right extremism manifest itself in different eras and countries?
-How does it relate to societal and political phenomena?

Supporting Information:

Upside-down American Flag
-The American flag, like other national flags, is subject to strict protocol, which states that the flag of the United States should not be displayed upside down except in cases of “dire distress and extreme danger to life or property.” In the context of the “BlackKklansman” movie, displaying the American flag upside down can be seen as a protest against systemic racism, police violence, and social inequality. Turning the flag upside down can be interpreted as a demand for justice and equality for all Americans.

Summary:

“BlackKklansman” is an award-winning satirical drama based on true events, best suited for high school students due to its strong racist language and depiction of violence. The movie’s satirical nature requires viewers to have some prior understanding of the development of civil rights in the United States. The film addresses the development of civil rights and strong racism, partly through satire, which may not be fully understood by younger viewers. The satirical approach runs through the narrative and successfully deals with the serious issue of racism through humor. Towards the end of the movie, it ties the events of the 1970s to the current political situation in the United States, providing viewers with an opportunity to see the historical development of civil rights and far-right extremism in the historical context of the United States.

Educational Material Author: Laura Roschier / Mediametka

 

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About the movie

Subjects

  • history
  • social studies

Keywords

  • activism
  • America
  • courage
  • educational materials
  • equality
  • intertextual
  • learning materials
  • movie technology
  • rasism
  • reading skills of movie
  • segregation

Educational levels

  • high schools and vocational schools

Genres

  • biography
  • comedy
  • drama
  • thriller

Playlists

  • based on true events

Age limits

  • K-12

Studios

  • Uip