The Original BJ wrote:(You could maybe argue that the wife is a bit over-the-top, but even there I thought this emphasized an important point -- because of the misogyny inherent in her marriage, she almost has to play-act at being a Klan member to impress her husband and the men around her, and I thought the movie did an excellent job of highlighting her victimhood without remotely absolving her of her own racism and capacity for violence.)
I must admit I felt quite uncomfortable about it. There are practically only two female characters in this film which are somewhat more than blending into the background - this silly, short, fat and, well, not conventionally beautiful white wife and the gorgeous black activist. And what I got was that Lee, in the spirit of the blaxploitation films he's celebrating here, is implying that the women are the right payoff men get - the black stud wins (I know, I know, they didn't end in bed), the white skunk loses. I get the joke, but it's not a good enough one to be made in this era. (Sorry for being simplistically pc).
I don't think it's a disaster, but I'm not a huge fan of this film. It needed a kind of smart, mischievous touch Lee doesn't seem to possess. He ticks all the right boxes - it's opinionated, knowledgeable and most certainly relevant, yet I found it way too calculated. I found your take, BJ, on the KKK's BoaN screening/Harry Belafonte reminiscing segment to be brilliant, and I do appreciate it more in light of your analisis, yet I still find it too academic, to didactic - not to say demagogic - to truly work emotionally or even in a profound intellectual way.