Monday, 24 December 2012

Movie controversy: Django Unchained

Django Unchained is an American western movie which is written and directed by Quentin Tarantino and is scheduled to be released in most North American cinemas tomorrow, December 25th 2012. The central characters are Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. 

The movie seems to have generated some controversial reactions due to the fact that it is primarily a comedy 
built around the central theme of slavery. Some people seem to have the opinion that slavery in North 
America was too serious a reality to be trivialized in one of Tarantino's "spaghetti westerns". Here's a trailer 
of the movie:

Here is a response from Spike Lee:

He also twittered further ‘American slavery was not a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It was a holocaust. My ancestors are slaves. Stolen from Africa. I will honor them.’ 

I haven't thought much about whether or not this movie is appropriate as a comedy given its very serious central theme. I just know that I want to see it because I've never seen a western which was politically correct on the particular theme of slavery. It will be interesting to see if Tarantino can succeed in pulling off his usual satirical stunts in favour of ridiculing racism as it existed in that time and space. I believe that this satire can hit a nerve with present day racism and encourage people to talk about it more and hopefully adopt a more progressive stand on the issue of race. It's a difficult job, but someone has put his neck out to do it and I applaud that. So, I'm going to see it, then I can criticize it for what it did or didn't do, unless of course, I'm stuck under a rock in Cameroon or somewhere equally limiting!

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