Before our assignment to watch this movie I had not heard of it and did not know what time period it was taking place in. The beginning scene with Alec Baldwin made me think that it was going to be set in the 40s perhaps, and then I realized that it was probably set in the 70s (the afros were a bit of a giveaway). However, while it was set in the 70s, there were several themes and comments that were eerily similar to the state of our nation right now. One of the biggest things that stuck out to me was that David Duke, the grand wizard of the klan, said the phrase “make America great again”, upon listening to this I instantly got the chills. In many instances I saw a lot of similarities between Trump and David Duke and especially was unsettled when they were discussing how David Duke had aspirations for political office so he would never publicly say that he hated jews or black people in an effort to save face. I think that these little pieces were intentional by Spike Lee as this film was released in the middle of the Trump presidency and is perhaps a commentary that we are closer to the 70s than many people imagine and the fight for civil rights is not over.

Everything sort of came full circle at the end when clips from Charlottesville in 2017 were released with both David Duke and Trumps voices over them, highlighting the fact that the idea of a white America is far from being dead. I think that Spike Lee and everyone involved in this film did a great job at emphasizing the fact that the fight is far from over and in some ways they sort of predicted what happened this summer and is far from being over.


  1. I heard of the movie but had not gotten to see it yet! I agree with you that although based on their dress that it was not current 21st century, the events seemed oddly too present! I did not realize he said “make America great again” but wow does that too bring me chills!

  2. Spike Lee obviously wanted people to think about Donald Trump when they saw this film. The idea of the Klan getting away from the white robes, though they feature prominently in the film, is again something we can associate with the alt-right march on Charlottesville, where it consisted mostly of clean-cut and educated men and even the actual David Duke giving a speech in which he references Trump and taking back the country. It’s a really scary thought and reinforces the idea of how Trump has given these people the space to spew their hatred without worrying about consequences.

  3. I think even your questioning of the time period initially and how much of the movie, which is set in the 70s, resembles what we see in our current society is a very important purpose of the film. The elusiveness of the time period creates the feeling that we are not talking about a single event or moment, we are talking about yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

  4. The similarities between David Duke and Donald Trump at the end of the movie gave me goosebumps (and not the good kind). Those last 5ish minutes of the movie were really scary, and solidifies the idea that this is real and happening today. It’s absolutely terrifying for me to think about the fact that Donald Trump has allowed people which such hateful ideals to have the platform that they have today and let them run free basically.

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