Spike Lee denounces Trump at Cannes Film Festival

Topher Grace is David Duke in new film from Spike Lee and Jordan Peele

At its Cannes debut yesterday BlacKkKlansman was met with a rapturous response and a 10-minute standing ovation, with many saying Spike Lee's movie captures the zeitgeist, using a true story from the past to talk about modern race issues and the bigotry of the Trump era.

"I listened to a lot of his radio show, I watched "Donahue" - because he was on that a lot - and I read My Awakening, his autobiography, which is terrible", he siad.

"I was not going to put that murder scene in the film without her blessing", said Lee. "I was walking around the house doing my lines, and she was like, 'Hey, can you tone it down on the hate speech?'" It's set for commercial release in August - on the first anniversary of the deadly violence at a white-supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a counter-protester was run down by a vehicle and killed. "We have to wake up and we can't be silent", an exhausted Lee told reporters.

"It was a defining moment and he could have said to the United States and the world that we're better than that", said Lee.

Lee revealed that he contacted the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed when she was run over by a neo-Nazi who plowed his speeding auto into a group of counter-protestors.

Lee referred to Charlottesville as an "ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on America", while making sure to remind the worldwide media at Cannes that the racism depicted in "BlacKkKlansman" doesn't only exist in the United States.

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"We look to our leaders".

Later he mocked the idea of the United States being the cradle of democracy, reminding the crowd "the US was built upon the genocide of native people and slavery".

'Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award® winning Get Out, BlacKkKlansman offers an unflinching, true-life examination of race relations in 1970s America that is just as bracingly relevant in today's tumultuous world'. The United States of America was built on the genocide of native people and slavery. As my Brooklyn brother Jay-Z would say, facts. "This is not just something that pertains to the United States of America, this bulls- has gone over the world". I go to bed thinking about it.

"That mother**ker [Trump] has the nuclear code!"

"So this film, to me, is a wake-up call because ... stuff is happening, and it's topsy-turvy and the fake has been trumpeted as the truth".

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