This year marked 27 years since Spike Lee made an appearance at the annual Cannes Film Festival to submit a film for competition after 1991’s Jungle Fever, and what a comeback it is.
Spike popped out this week with his latest BlacKkKlansman film, a flick based on what the filmmaker says is a true story about a black police officer infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan and walked away with the film festival’s second most prestigious award when he made off with the Grand Prix. “I take this on the behalf of the People’s Republic of Brooklyn, New York,” he proudly declared while accepting his award.
This year’s jury was comprised of a female majority headed up by president Cate Blanchett and other names like Ava DuVernay and Kristen Stewart. “Obviously, this is an international film festival,” Blanchett said of the selection. “We talked a lot about when a film transcends the limitations of its culture. Spike has made a film that is quintessentially about an American crisis and yet all of us felt connected to it. That, we felt, really elevated its importance even more.”
Ava DuVernay adds: “As an African American filmmaker, I was completely taken by the film. I’ve imbibed every film he’s ever made. It was startling and stunning. But when I walked into the jury room, I decided to listen to my jury members. It was a robust dialogue…emotion and energy from these artists from all over the world.”
This year’s first-place prize, better known as the Palme d’Or, went to Japanese filmmaker Hirozaku Kore-eda for his Shoplifters. BlacKkKlansman will make its debut in theaters on August 10th.