01:11 GMT04 March 2021
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    During a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival in France, director Spike Lee went off on US President Donald Trump in a profane rant, attacking the president for his reaction to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer.

    Lee, who was in Cannes to promote his latest film "BlacKkKlansman," repeatedly referred to the commander-in-chief as a "motherf***er" for claiming there were "very fine people on both sides" of the attacks in Charlottesville last year that left one woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, dead when a car driven by a white supremacist protester plowed through a group of anti-fascist counter-protesters.

    "We have a guy in the White House — I'm not even going to say his f***ing name. It was a defining moment, not just for Americans but for the world. And that motherf***er was given a chance to say, 'We are about love and not hate,'" Lee told reporters on Monday.

    Lee also called the death of Heyer "an ugly, ugly, ugly blemish on the United States of America."

    "Heather should be alive now. It's a murderous act," he added.

    Lee continued, leaning into the microphone: "And that motherf***er did not denounce the motherf***ing Klan, the alt-right and those Nazis motherf***ers. It was a defining moment and he could have said to the world, not just the United States, that we were better than that."

    "The so-called American cradle of democracy? That's bullsh*t," he went on. 

    "The United States of America was built on the genocide of native people and slavery. That is the fabric of the United States of America."

    "BlacKkKlansman," which stars John David Washington, Adam Driver and Topher Grace, is about a real-life black cop who infiltrated the KKK in the '70s.

    Lee's film was already completed when the riots broke out in Charlottesville last August. After hearing about Heyer's death, he decided to change the film's ending.

    The director also told reporters that he asked Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, if he could include real footage of the crash in his film.

    "I was not going to put that murder scene in the film without her blessing. And Mrs. Bro said, 'Spike, I give you permission to put that in,'" he said. "So once I got the permission, I said f**k everybody else, that motherf***ing scene is staying in the motherf***ing movie."

    Lee also announced that the movie will be released August 10, on the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville rally.

    "I hope this film shakes people from their slumber. The purpose of this film was to spark discussion… We know the difference between right and wrong and when you see wrong staring you dead in the face and you're like, 'Mum's the word,' you're helping the other people, in my opinion," Lee said.


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    Charlottesville, festival, Spike Lee, Donald Trump, Cannes, France
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