BlacKkKlansMan Wins Top Prize at Cannes, Spike Lee’s 1st-Ever Nod From the French Film Fest

Director Spike Lee receives the Grand Prix award for BlacKkKlansman during the closing ceremony of the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 19, 2018, in Cannes, France.
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain (Getty Images)

Love Spike Lee to death, but we wouldn’t be throwing that much shade if we said that sometimes the big homie’s films are about as good as his beloved Knicks in the playoffs.


But if reports from the 2018 Cannes Film Festival are accurate, Lee’s got a winner in BlacKkKlansman, which not only received a standing ovation when it was screened, but on Saturday also received the Grand Prix, one of the festival’s top awards, second only to the Palme d’Or, which Lee infamously lost out on in 1989 for his masterwork Do the Right Thing.

BlacKkKlansman, set in the 1970s, stars John David Washington as Ron Stallworth, a black detective who launches an undercover investigation of the Ku Klux Klan with Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). Topher Grace plays David Duke, the KKK’s grand wizard. Jordan Peele co-produced with Lee.


BlacKkKlansman is set to drop on Aug. 10, the one-year anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville, Va., white nationalist rally.

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Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.