The Big Picture: Is Django Racist?

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JudgeGame:

Azurian:

mrblakemiller:
Not only am I mad that Spike Lee still has enough cachet to say he won't watch a movie and have people listen to him, I'm annoyed that he gets called a great filmmaker. Name a Spike Lee movie that's not "Do The Right Thing" (1989) or "Malcolm X" (1992). He hasn't made a great movie in twenty years. Why are we talking about him like he's some sort of visionary?

Crooklyn, Tales from the Hood, He Got Game, Summer of Sam, The Original Kings of Comedy, and 25th Hour I'm no fan of Spike Lee if I saw the man on the street I would probably just say hey there goes Spike Lee. I just only know these movies because of certain actors or actress.

Inside Man is probably one of the best heist films ever made and shows of Lee's amazing mastery of actually directing, something most people can't appreciate any more.

Spike Lee made Summer of Sam?! How'd I forget that? Denzel Washington wasn't in it, was he? He's in a lot of Spike Lee's "Joints".

Completely ignoring the revenge plot, which is a great plot from the Siefried, Brunhilda perspective, and very problematic if viewed in terms of Jamie Foxx's "killing white people" comments, I'm surprised that more attention hasn't been paid to Samuel Jackson's character. There's a lot going on there that's not very well explained, and nothing good can come out of it. Succinctly, having the main villain be a black man, who's not just complicit, not just benefiting from, but, ultimately, organizing atrocities against his own people is a BFD to a much greater extent than his masters. Why does he do it? There seems to be some affection for Candi, God only knows how. Maybe he doesn't believe anything will change, or, perhaps, he's just extremely self interested? Given the uncomfortable parallels that character can inspire, why has he not been talked about more?

Xman490:
Dr. Schultz added another literary reference by quoting a philosopher (whose name I forget) who spoke out against slavery or abuse right before...

not a philosopher, but a novelist namely Alexandre Dumas (wrote the three musketeers)
image

Born and raised in poverty, as his father died when he was four, Dumas faced discrimination because of his ethnic African ancestry. Through his father, who was born in Saint-Domingue, he was the grandson of a French nobleman and a black slave. His mother was French. As a young man, Dumas' aristocratic rank helped him acquire work with Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandre_Dumas

and sorry, but the ending was more of a cheap revenge wish fulfilment fantasy just like that certain scene in "the girl with the dragon tattoo".

it just stays sour no matter how you twist it.

Well put Bob. This whole thing reminds me of the superhero Steel, in particular an Elseworlds comic called "Crucible of Freedom" in which Steel is a black slave in the 1800's and builds his iconic suit of metal armor as a means of liberating his family and fellow slaves from the plantation owner who was once an sympathetic childhood friend (and Steel's mother even acted as a wet nurse for him) but was driven to perpetuating racial hatred because he himself was beaten for his sympathetic leanings, eventually growing up into a bitter, insane plantation lord even more brutal than the men who created him. This I think would have made an incredible movie and it's worth checking out.

I find it funny that we are discussing the possibility of Django Unchained being racist, while throwing out the term "spaghetti Western" so loosely without a second thought. Spaghetti Western used to have a negative connotation referring to Italian filmmakers delving into a subject American film makers thought they out not to. The term itself used to be derogatory and racist itself toward Italians.

As to why this is relevant? It's not. Just like there's no main-stream debate going on about Django Unchained being racist. err that is if a few tweets from Spike Lee = the black community and the media.

OT: While I understand why Spike Lee would take objection to what he believes Django Unchained's premise to be... criticizing Django for being a mindless spaghetti western would be like criticizing Spec Ops: The Line for being a mindless CoD-style shooter.

BrotherRool:
When you talked about Tarantino using genres to heighten aspects of his own films, you flashed up Kill Bill, would anyone like to explain to me what was going on in Kill Bill? There's so much I#ve missed/failed to understand when watching these films

Holy shit I ended up writing way more than I intended. But yeah, I think there's a lot to dissect. While Kill Bill does have plenty of issues from a feminist perspective (the male gaze in that movie is off the charts), a lot of it is made up of conventions from Asian genre films recontextualized in a feminist light to subvert/defy what "should" happen in a Western film with this sort of plot.

On a subtextual level, a female character in a Western film typically would shed her femininity/sexuality and appropriate the trappings of masculinity to achieve her ends. But the film's conclusion would generally have her reintegrated into the patriarchal power structure (generally by giving her a male love interest) or killed. (Eg, Enough, where the female lead kills her abusive husband and winds up in a relationship with an old boyfriend, or Ms. 45, where a rape victim goes from targeted vengeance to senseless spree-killing until she is killed by another woman.) Neither one of these things happens in Kill Bill.

Beatrix is already the person she needs to be to accomplish her goals, but her mission doesn't necessitate neutralizing her femininity. The first two people she kills (chronologically) are her potential and her actual rapist, respectively, and the last is her daughter's father. Her motherhood is an omnipresent theme, but at the same time, it's not her driving motivation. (She doesn't know her child is alive until they meet.) Hints at this are present throughout both movies... for instance, the sheriff's infantilization of her ("little blood-spattered angel, who'd wanna shoot her, she's so pretty," etc) is met with her involuntarily spitting in his face, after which he retorts by offhandedly referring to her as a "cocksucker." There's Buck, not much else to say there. Pai Mei, Budd, and the Mexican pimp all talk down to her (at least initially) because she's a woman. The driving theme being that although she has appropriated male symbols of power (Hanzo's sword, Bruce Lee's jumpsuit), she never sheds her femininity.

Both these ideas are best exemplified in one of Bill's last monologues. Not only is Beatrix the person she needs to be at the start of the movie, she always was her whole life. Bill's whole argument is that she's a "natural-born killer" who, upon discovering she was pregnant, tried to hide her true nature a la Superman.

Hell, I'd argue the wedding massacre is an explicit rejection of the "strong female lead subserves a male love interest" ending. If you imagine the flashbacks as a conceptual Vol 0, its story arc would go like this: Beatrix becomes Bill's lover and employee, trains under Pai Mei. She does a bunch of assassin-type stuff. Then she discovers she's pregnant and decides to quit the life just as the Korean woman with the shotgun comes to kill her. Beatrix spares the woman, gets her to leave by telling her she's pregnant, and plans to settle down as a housewife. Bill comes to her wedding rehearsal and on the porch promises he won't interfere. The "he's my father" lie leads to a symbolic handing-off to her new husband and life. The end. This would make the wedding massacre the first action in Vol 1, as it is. (Also, Vernita Green is the first person Beatrix is depicted killing, a character who did the exact same thing as Beatrix in our hypothetical Vol 0.) Wedding massacres are common openings in HK revenge flicks, giving the male lead a motivation to do what he does in his movie. Here, that genre motif is taken and used to say something totally different.

Beatrix's situation is somewhat similar to the lead in a movie (based on a manga) called Lady Snowblood. In that movie, a woman is raped by several men. She kills one of the rapists and goes to jail for it. There, she seduces a guard to conceive a child, then after giving birth to a daughter, she tells her fellow inmates to raise the child to get revenge and dies. That character (Yuki) is similar to Beatrix in that she too is explicitly a "natural-born killer," having been conceived and raised for that task. (None of this is accidental: O-Ren Ishii was heavily based on Yuki. The fight in the snow borrows visually from Lady Snowblood. And the telling of O-Ren's backstory through comics was paying homage to Lady Snowblood's telling Yuki's backstory through frames of the original manga.)

While Asian films don't have the same problems with women avenging their honor while remaining women, revenge movie protagonists do tend to destroy themselves in the process. (That saying, "When setting out for revenge, dig two graves"? Western audiences tend to interpret it as meaning "don't set out for revenge." In its original context, it's more along the lines of helpful advice: avenging your honor is worth the sacrifice, and you should be prepared to accept that fact.) Kill Bill also rejects that genre convention. Beatrix is efficient, remorseless, and above all else, she remains completely intact as a person to the very end.

(Trivia: Kill Bill also draws a lot from Lone Wolf and Cub, also based on a manga. That movie's setup is about a ronin avenging his wife's murder and his disgrace, while training his son. Kill Bill, Beatrix is essentially avenging her own murder. That movie was recut into Shogun Assassin for American audiences. The GZA sampled it on Liquid Swords. Fellow Wu-Tang member the RZA did a lot of Kill Bill's music. The movie Beatrix watches with Bibi before she kills Bill is Shogun Assassin.)

Also, couple interesting notes not really related to all that. IIRC, the only named characters depicted killing anyone in both movies are women. Beatrix kills a ton, obv. O-Ren kills a few people, Elle kills Budd and Pai Mei, Gogo kills the "do you wanna fuck me" guy. Bill and Budd both attempt to kill Beatrix but fail, and the wedding party massacre is never actually shown. And... in the first Kill Bill, Beatrix kills a ridiculous number of people, but never gets to Bill. In the second, she literally kills no one except Bill. Budd and (possibly) Elle are killed not by the Black Mamba, but a black mamba.

Dr. Witticism:

Sovereignty:
I was genuinely interested. For once your sheltered views on racism weren't nausea inducing, and actually brought me to consider your view point.

Then your accent cropped in, and I had to stop the video. Are you just not trying anymore? Seriously, I know it probably means nothing, but I refuse to watch your videos til this is fixed. Either let the accent go completely, or keep it masked as you'd done in dozens of your past episodes.

You're better than this Bob.

"Fixed"? People's accents need to be "fixed" so they exactly match what you want, or you will boycot them? That's unbelievably sad and misguided. If he "fixes" it to a non-descript American accent, should all British people not watch him? If he switched to a British accent, would you not watch him, or would that be ok with you because you feel British is one of the "proper" accents? Would you mind telling us what, exactly, makes an accent proper to you? Are those traits that make them OK in your eyes shared by everyone's opinion? Or are you suggesting that Bob isn't doing well enough whenever he crosses your personal lines? I'm genuinely curious as to how you arrived at such a silly conclusion.

EDIT: the best part is that you're bringing this up in the thread for a video about racism, which is based at least partly in provincialism, xenophobia, and, ultimately, fear and/or derision of "the other." Oh sweet, sweet irony.

He didn't mean "fix" the accent, he meant fixing the constant switching between the "normal" middle American one and his actual Boston accent. He clearly says at the end that he'd be fine with either one of them as long as Bob sticks with it. It's just a problem of consistency. I also think it's weird that it practically comes in every episode, until a couple months ago I can't remember it having ever shown up.

Gatx:

Dr. Witticism:

Sovereignty:
I was genuinely interested. For once your sheltered views on racism weren't nausea inducing, and actually brought me to consider your view point.

Then your accent cropped in, and I had to stop the video. Are you just not trying anymore? Seriously, I know it probably means nothing, but I refuse to watch your videos til this is fixed. Either let the accent go completely, or keep it masked as you'd done in dozens of your past episodes.

You're better than this Bob.

"Fixed"? People's accents need to be "fixed" so they exactly match what you want, or you will boycot them? That's unbelievably sad and misguided. If he "fixes" it to a non-descript American accent, should all British people not watch him? If he switched to a British accent, would you not watch him, or would that be ok with you because you feel British is one of the "proper" accents? Would you mind telling us what, exactly, makes an accent proper to you? Are those traits that make them OK in your eyes shared by everyone's opinion? Or are you suggesting that Bob isn't doing well enough whenever he crosses your personal lines? I'm genuinely curious as to how you arrived at such a silly conclusion.

EDIT: the best part is that you're bringing this up in the thread for a video about racism, which is based at least partly in provincialism, xenophobia, and, ultimately, fear and/or derision of "the other." Oh sweet, sweet irony.

He didn't mean "fix" the accent, he meant fixing the constant switching between the "normal" middle American one and his actual Boston accent. He clearly says at the end that he'd be fine with either one of them as long as Bob sticks with it. It's just a problem of consistency. I also think it's weird that it practically comes in every episode, until a couple months ago I can't remember it having ever shown up.

You are absolutely right. I was wrong and apologize unequivocally. I got a bit overzealous today. After returning to these boards after a few months, the first few threads I saw were full of mocking towards homosexuals, and debates about guns that devolved into "you're a crazy liberal vs. you're a crazy conservative" territory. I falsely assumed that such silliness was continuing here in this thread. Once again:

I was wrong. And I will not go back and edit my comments just because I now know I was wrong. I should leave my comment for others to see :)

EDIT: and, furthermore, I made an assumption about the commenter's views based on his/her handle and the first line of his/her post. Jumping to such conclusions is something I have spoken out against in the past, so it's only fair that I leave my comment untouched as an example of what NOT to do.

The word racist barely makes any sense to me. I would assume that it means that an action or statement can be called racist if it makes claims that a person or people, of whatever racial distinction, are inferior or superior to another.

It seems to me that the term "racist" is only important as the buzz word that means you are free to bludgeon a person labelled that without a response, for which the only shield is to.

I haven't seen Django Unchained yet, but I'm sure based on Tarantino's previous movies that it just may be less racist than just about any movie Hollywood makes including Spike Lee's. Because they tend to actually have characters portrayed as being just their characters and merely acknowledging their background, and not so much defined by heavily manipulated social narratives: White Bad/Spoiled/Ashamed and Black Good/Poor/Suffering. Maybe it will.

MovieBob:
Is Django Racist?

MovieBob gives us his opinion on Quentin Tarantino and race in this.

[This review contains spoilers concerning Django Unchained]

Watch Video

Hmm... I can see both sides of this, and it seems you can, too (whether or not we agree).

Now, I'll also say I thought the "is it racist?" angle was going to be the idea that movies like this can, on some level, accidentally put forward: The victims of Atrocity X would have broken free if they'd have just fought harder. It's a viewpoint that I can understand, even if I feel it's a bit of a stretch. Typically, the kind of person that is savvy enough to see that subtext is also wise enough not to believe such crap... unless they already believe it, and thus no 'harm' done.

That said, my concern with any "historical revenge" movies is that sometimes they step outside of the "Reminding Us of Our Flawed Past" role. Occasionally, they wander right into the "make Group X mad at today's 'descendants' of yesterday's (often exaggerated, or at least worst-cased) mustachioed villains" territory. Basically, they can miss the mark.

This can tend to happen when we use emotions to try to stir up thought. If we use the wrong emotion, we stir the wrong thought. You can stir thought by asking hard questions, and that's a great thing to do in any medium. Or you can just stir up "feelings" about an issue and let the chips fall where they may... which, if the central emotion at play is "anger," leads us down a pretty narrow path. If you want to get your audience angry, make sure you're careful about who or what you want them angry at, or they may well choose a target that runs counter to your original intent.

Does Django Unchained do any of this? No idea. Haven't seen it. But I've seen this issue come up, and it's one I'd be wary of.

DVS BSTrD:

And where was Spike Lee's outrage when Tarantino made a movie confronting the actual Holocaust?

That was my first thought too.

OT: Agreed with everything you said Bob. We shouldn't be throwing this stuff in a closet. It needs to come the surface every now and then. And if it's a fun and cathartic experience where the good guys win, all the better IMO. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Good feature. I liked it. Good work man.

bunji:
For once I thought this was a great episode with a very rigid logical structure, but I wonder; if someone made a movie about all the black-on-black slavery that took place during this same period, would that be okay?

Do you mean the slavery in pre-colonial Africa that was the result of tribal warfare, and acted as a predeccessor to American slaver, or the odd cases of American slavery where free-blacks wound up wealthy in the south and bought slaves?

bananafishtoday:
-snip-

Wow. That is a fascinating reading. I mean, I was aware of the incredibly complex nature of Kill Bill's "borrowing" but I had no idea it was talking about that.

I know it's nowhere as intricate but I really enjoyed Death Proof. People dismiss it a lot but I was shocked by how good the script was. In that film, I could appreciate QT taking the archetypical slasher killer and reappropriating it. Slasher killers are almost always borne from some form of bigotry eg southeners, hillbillies, the mentally impaired, adopted children, exentric neighbors, racial stereotypes, etc. Death Proof was about a serial killer that stalked women at bars. Unlike the traditional creepy stalkers of other slashers, the female leads have no relation to the killer and have done nothing to ellicit his "revenge", they aren't guilty of any crimes and on his side the killer isn't a socially inept dweeb but a suave older man with a silver tongue.

QT actually created a believable villain and believable, interesting female protagonists who act like women in a slasher flick, and it was fun to watch. That kind of blew me away.

What I wanted to say is that having gotten the gist of what he was doing in Death Proof, I totally believe everything you mentioned in your analysis of Kill Bill was intentional because it fits perfectly with QT's style.

RedDeadFred:

DVS BSTrD:

And where was Spike Lee's outrage when Tarantino made a movie confronting the actual Holocaust?

That was my first thought too.

OT: Agreed with everything you said Bob. We shouldn't be throwing this stuff in a closet. It needs to come the surface every now and then. And if it's a fun and cathartic experience where the good guys win, all the better IMO. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Yeah. My first criticism of Spike Lee's ethos of "slavery should be dealt with by black filmmakers" is that by that logic US filmmakers shouldn't be allowed to deal with any issues. Like, how can you make a Hollywood film about Vietnam or the Holocaust without it being completely detached from the things its protagonists went through and the implications thereof. If Lee really believed his own argument, he'd have quit movies.

Like Zachary Amaranth I have to call bull on Tarantino being "savvy" and having a deep understanding of the context of his content. The man just puts stuff in films he likes. People only look at the surface of his work because that's all there is: surface! Sorry :\

But hey! There's nothing wrong with that. If something entertains you, then it did its job. To ask anything more of a director is just asinine.

Can the director do something deep? Sure, that's fine. It'd be a bonus. Eat up. But if a director makes a film that sounds shallow and looks shallow... and then advertises it as something deep well... he scammed you good.

And do you know what? Kudos to him because he got that money. He did his job well. That's good business.

But don't just try to justify a film you enjoyed as being something it wasn't. It's like someone trying to dive head first into a shallow pool: it's just not smart.

But do whatever you want to do. I'm not gonna stop you.

Quick little replies:

@gphjr14: I don't think anyone is missing anything by skipping the film. It's so middle of the road that I was thinking of Inglorious Bastards the whole time. Now Kill Bill and Planet Terror were a completely different issue.

@Anoni Mus: All I saw was someone being belligerent and embarrassing himself on national television. It's pretty childish if not completely unprofessional. Someone could even make a strong claim that he's antisocial and can't handle PR. Gotta keep irritation close to the vest yo, close to the vest.

NAdducci:
The word racist barely makes any sense to me. I would assume that it means that an action or statement can be called racist if it makes claims that a person or people, of whatever racial distinction, are inferior or superior to another.

It seems to me that the term "racist" is only important as the buzz word that means you are free to bludgeon a person labelled that without a response, for which the only shield is to.

I haven't seen Django Unchained yet, but I'm sure based on Tarantino's previous movies that it just may be less racist than just about any movie Hollywood makes including Spike Lee's. Because they tend to actually have characters portrayed as being just their characters and merely acknowledging their background, and not so much defined by heavily manipulated social narratives: White Bad/Spoiled/Ashamed and Black Good/Poor/Suffering. Maybe it will.

Slavery actually happened. It is a thing that we have to deal with now. Racism isn't a buzzword, it's a reality.

And yeah, saying Tarantino's films are "less racist than just about any movie Hollywood makes" makes me doubt you've watched very many of his films.

bananafishtoday:
snip

Wow thanks, thats so much more to the films than I'd ever thought about it. Knowing this sort of thing makes rewatching so much more interesting, to have all that to think about. I'm going to have to trace down a copy so I can have another look, and maybe learn more about Tarantino. I think Kill Bill might be the only film of his I've actually seen

So thanks again, I was hoping someone might be able to tell me something but this was way better than I could have expected

kramer:

MacNille:
And of course, another jab at The Dark Knight Rises. Yes, we know that you hate the film. Can you shut up about it?

Sorry movie bob can't speak, he currently has the avengers balls on his chin

You realize he took at a jab at The Avengers too, right? Or are you that caught up in your anger that you selectively hear things?

JudgeGame:

Slavery actually happened. It is a thing that we have to deal with now. Racism isn't a buzzword, it's a reality.

And yeah, saying Tarantino's films are "less racist than just about any movie Hollywood makes" makes me doubt you've watched very many of his films.

And the US is one of the most racially sensitive countries in the world. I don't think you'll ever hear a racist chant at a hockey game in North America, where a good chunk people pick it up. Like what happened to Wayne Simmonds while playing in Europe during the lockout. That doesn't happen here.

There was one incident in Canada (where it was only one dude), but that's out of how many years in the NHL vs 4 months in Europe?

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Good thing I'm not a Tarantino fan and wasn't planning on seeing this movie. 4:50 seems like a bit of a massive spoiler.

well not really. ^^ Also spike is sort of speaking from not having seen the movie so his view on it shouldn't really matter much to people.

mrblakemiller:
Not only am I mad that Spike Lee still has enough cachet to say he won't watch a movie and have people listen to him, I'm annoyed that he gets called a great filmmaker. Name a Spike Lee movie that's not "Do The Right Thing" (1989) or "Malcolm X" (1992). He hasn't made a great movie in twenty years. Why are we talking about him like he's some sort of visionary?

25th hour? Actually it´s the only Spike Lee movie i´ve seen, but i think it´s brilliant :D.

JudgeGame:

Slavery actually happened. It is a thing that we have to deal with now. Racism isn't a buzzword, it's a reality.

Yes and no. Clearly, slavery happened, and, clearly, racism still exists, though, again, clearly not in a way comparable to 50 years ago, let alone 150. On the other hand, accusations of racism seem to have almost no correlation at this point to actual incidents of racism. I'm pretty sure that's the point he was getting at.

I'm not sure I agree, and I'm not sure Bob is qualified to speak of this, but I'm glad he aknowledge the answer is more complex than either DURP OF COURSE IT IS and DURP OF COURSE IT ISN'T.

PaperpunkGenre:
Like Zachary Amaranth I have to call bull on Tarantino being "savvy" and having a deep understanding of the context of his content. The man just puts stuff in films he likes. People only look at the surface of his work because that's all there is: surface! Sorry

I seriously suggest you get some education in film before making a statement like that.

Besides, if Tarantino didn't intend this type of subtext, then it wouldn't be present in nearly every film he's made to date.

and about the link posted: He actually handled himself really well, he was annoyed sure(and he has every right to be annoyed, he's been dealing with this shit for 20 years now), but didn't hold it against the guy. He didn't storm out of the room, he didn't throw things at the guy, he simply stated he wasn't going to answer and explained why.

I thought Spike Lee faded into obscurity. Anything that has to do with black people is automatically racist so he can make more money or some liberal crap like that. Once again, I don't understand why people look at some form of media and say, "That's racist!" instead of just liking/disliking it.

DVS BSTrD:
19 seconds till the accent showed up, that's a new record.
And where was Spike Lee's outrage when Tarantino made a movie confronting the actual Holocaust?

Didn't know that black people had to attend to every outrageous event. He's a black guy, so slavery hits him differently than the Holocaust.

Anyways, I'm not sure about the movie (although it feels racist to me), but more importantly, a lot of the reactions are racist. "We can finally have a discussion about slavery!" and all this crap, like people haven't been writing on this for years and years now. The reactions that people are having to the movie, including the Oscar snubs, strike me as racist that way. I also feel like the movie is racially exploitative, and in that sense racist.

Dastardly:

Now, I'll also say I thought the "is it racist?" angle was going to be the idea that movies like this can, on some level, accidentally put forward: The victims of Atrocity X would have broken free if they'd have just fought harder.

This is an important point. I felt as though the film implied that slavery was sustained because blacks just weren't badass enough. Tarantino seemed to be, at least subconsciously, saying that the guidance of a wise white man was all any black man required in order to beat slavery, with essentially no focus on the larger social and psychological aspects of chattel slavery that perpetuated the system and reduced intelligent, strong men and women into submissive tools.

If you want Django Unchained to just be a fun revenge flick with inverted racial roles, then that's fine - but if you're going to read into it, you have to admit that for every clever statement regarding the cultural history of Westerns or our understanding of slavery, there is at least one equally unsettling implication regarding the way we view the slaves' culpability and agency. The whole thing seemed like a textbook case of what would happen if a white person who obviously loves and respects black culture and history tried to make a movie about it; on its face, the film has an undeniable reverence and love for the experience and motivations of its characters (with the exception of SLJ's), but there are some very white assumptions and uncomfortably paternalistic, exceptionalist narratives underneath.

Watching this video made me think back to the Passion of the Christ. I am Not a religious person. But passion was the first time I really saw Jesus as a human not just a character in a book. If this is what Django does for slavery... Good we need to remember how evil we can be and learn to not repeat the past.

Frostbite3789:

kramer:

MacNille:
And of course, another jab at The Dark Knight Rises. Yes, we know that you hate the film. Can you shut up about it?

Sorry movie bob can't speak, he currently has the avengers balls on his chin

You realize he took at a jab at The Avengers too, right? Or are you that caught up in your anger that you selectively hear things?

Plus the part where he said that Dark Knight Rises was good in his review.

I saw this film last week and I enjoyed it a lot. I always enjoy your pieces too, Bob and this one didn't disappoint. Once again a very intelligent and insightful deconstruction of a film, in this case destroying an ignorant and biased comment from Spike Lee. See the film before you bash it, or else your comments have no weight.

abell:

JudgeGame:

Slavery actually happened. It is a thing that we have to deal with now. Racism isn't a buzzword, it's a reality.

Yes and no. Clearly, slavery happened, and, clearly, racism still exists, though, again, clearly not in a way comparable to 50 years ago, let alone 150. On the other hand, accusations of racism seem to have almost no correlation at this point to actual incidents of racism. I'm pretty sure that's the point he was getting at.

Racism is still terrible. The socio-economic gap between white people and virtually every other race in the world is obscene. Black people are still treated terribly, by employers, by the police, by the government and by the general public. The few victories black people have achieved over years of determined struggle seem to have only moved the bigotry and abuse away from themselves and on to other groups.

We like to pretend racism is isolated. Racism is what defines western society. Wall Street was built thanks to investment in slave trade. America became a global superpower by embracing slavery to the bitter end. The Declaration of Independence was signed only because the British Empire demanded the commonwealth to abolish slavery and the americans refused.

Nowadays, we export racism and slavery. We send work to third world countries and work people of other races to death and somehow this is a step up from slavery. Every day, Taiwanese workers of Apple products can't take the brutal working conditions anymore and commit suicide. Even so, Iphones still dominate the market.

It is absurd to sugest that anything can be seperate from racism when everything we have ever known is racism.

This episode kinda left me speechless. Well done, Bob! I was pretty annoyed when Spike Lee spoke out against this movie, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and your dissection of the movie is spot on. Great episode!

*sighs*

Here we go again.

"...of the great racist crime in American history." (1:29)

I'm sure you didn't mean it like that, another bad taste in my mouth, etc, etc.

I've heard the viewpoint (or had it implied) too often that American African slavery is the original sin of America and is the worst thing we've done in our history of doing bad things and is the crown jewel of American Racism, and damn, I sure am tired of it. I don't even know why people try to place atrocities on some sort of scale of "horribleness," as if there's some sort of dick-waving contest between what the worst things human beings have done to each other is.

I had more written after this, but it was essentially an off-topic rant about the horrific success of the genocide of the indigenous North American people, and how so few people seem to even remember it just further solidifies that success.

The movie itself even brilliantly alluded to this. I don't fully remember context/line with clarity, but whoever had and shot Samuel L Jackson's character with the throwaway line ending with: "...he ain't no damn indjun" understood this. And yet it's so easily ignored and breezed right over by everyone I've talked to who's seen it.

Ugh. I'm done.

I decided to not watch Django unchained for the same reason as Spike Lee, before he made those statements . Now while i'm sure the movie has good intentions, those intentions are lost on the general public .

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