“BlacKkKlansman” and LVE by John Legend On This Week’s #WineandFilm Podcast

This week’s “Cogill Wine and Film, A Perfect Pairing” podcast on reVolver Podcasts raises a glass to Spike Lee’s impressive new film, “BlacKkKlansman.” Gary’s review of the film below. To pair, LVE Wines by John Legend as the Grammy, Tony and Oscar winning singer/songwriter understands the importance of giving back, especially helping children end the cycle of poverty. To listen to the show, click here, or listen through your favorite podcast site, including Spotify, iTunes, IHeartRadio or Google Play.

Also, we are excited to share a special deal with a fantastic new wine website called Wine Access which features hand-selected, premium wines from across the globe. If you are looking for a few great bottles of bubbles to enjoy with this, or any film, Wine Access has offered our listeneners an incredible deal of 20% off their already well-priced selections, just by clicking here or going to their website, wineaccess.com/cogill.

The Film: “BlacKkKlansman”

“Truth Hurts”

“BlacKkKlansman” is director Spike Lee’s best film in years. A shocking and often intentionally funny examination of blatant racism in America both past and present.

Based on the true story of Colorado Springs detective Ron Stallworth, the story begins in the 1970’s with a phone call answering a local newspaper ad to join the KKK.

One problem, Stallworth is black and when invited to his first klan meeting over the phone, he partners with his white, Jewish colleague played perfectly by, Adam Driver (Star Wars, Silence, Girls). The ruse is on.

John David Washington (Ballers) plays Stallworth with a sense of personal honesty that consistently puts him in harms way. He is Ron on the phone and Driver is Ron in person. They mimic each others voices and it’s only a matter of time before the local klan members start to question their devoted new member.

There is a wonderful beauty to Spike Lee’s accomplished film, found in the art direction, music, wardrobe, and hair styles of the 70’s. A particular sing-a-long dance sequence is meaningful and memorable.

There is also a harshness to the story and dialogue which never falters in it’s honest depiction of KKK members and their families. Watching “Blackkklansman” feels like a gut punch, nothing is sugar coated in Spike Lee’s complicated piece of work.

Here is a movie that says we haven’t come as far as we thought when it comes to facing the demons of racism in America. The final sequence in, “Blackkklansman,” is a shocking modern day montage of the anger and fear we are currently facing in our everyday lives. A sobering, disturbing reality.

The truth is hard to watch.

To Pair: LVE, by John Legend 

John Legend and Napa’s Raymond Vineyards owner Jean Charles Boisset launched LVE in 2015. L-V-E, an acronym for Legend Vineyard Exclusive, is also meant to evoke the word ‘love’ as Legend believes that wine is really about celebrating with people you love. Like music, wine is something that brings people closer together, connecting them with commonnanlities. A belief I couldn’t agree with more. Rarely do vodka lovers, for instance, sit around and discuss the nuance of this vodka vs. that. Where this is all that many wine inthusiasts I know do, noting vintage variation, regional difficerences, how the wine tasted last month vs. today.

When Legend partnered with Boisset and Raymond Vineyards his goal was to ensure he would be involved in every piece of the process, from bud break to harvest, fermenting to bottling, and most importantly in blending, displaying his passion for the grape in the final product. The label started with dusty, earthy Rutherford LVE Cabernet, his favorite, and have subsequently launched a blend, white and most recently a Rose from Provence.

Why this is such the ideal pairing? Basically because who this dynamic individual is. A philanthropist, advocate, Grammy, Tony, Golden Globe and Oscar winning singer songwriter, John Legend is also an incredible role model and family man.

Legend generously gives back to various of charities, like red cross & UNICEF, but more importantly, he starts them to personally help children and African Americans, particularly those caught in the system, in the United States build better lives. He started the SHOW ME CAMPAIGN with the goal to break the cycle of poverty almost 10 years ago.

The Show Me Campaign seeks to give every child access to a quality education by working to elevate and celebrate teachers, the single most important factor for student achievement in our schools. The campaign also works to end the school-to-prison pipeline and to address systemic issues in our criminal justice system that disproportionately impact the poor, minorities and disadvantaged. He started #FreeAmerica in 2015 to further these efforts.
#FreeAmerica is 5-year campaign to dramatically reduce mass incarceration rates in the United States and to reverse the school-to-prison pipeline.

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