Saltzman’s talks with Beckwith form the backbone of the film. Beckwith is a fascinating and forthright subject, oozing old school Southern charm and bonhomie, extolling the virtues of the black nanny who basically raised him while remaining faithful to the racist attitudes handed down to him by his parents. At the same time, Beckwith is well aware that he’s one of the last of his kind. His children don’t adhere to the old ways and he’s the last in his family to be involved with the Klan. The conversations with Beckwith humanize someone we would normally dismiss and vilify immediately, exploring the possibilities of reconciliation between Beckwith and the filmmaker. At the same time, THE LAST WHITE KNIGHT also wisely acknowledges that much has not changed, which is especially evident in the interview with the Klansmen. Behind it all is a world of pain that stretches back centuries. Belafonte, in one of the most telling conversations in the film, says, “People tell me that things have changed. And yet, I don’t trust Mississippi.”
Courtesy Steve Gravestock, Sr. Programmer, TIFF
TO PURCHASE DVD’s OF ‘THE LAST WHITE KNIGHT’ USE THIS LINK.
TO VIEW A BONUS INTERVIEW WITH PAUL SALTZMAN ON THE LAST WHITE KNIGHT USE THIS LINK.