The Big Picture: Is Django Racist?

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trty00:
So... you're against a movie about American slavery painting the white slavers as fuckers? Nice assumptions by the way. You do realize that, when it comes to slavery, America still doesn't really talk about it? There's a Nazi history museum in Berlin, yet many American history textbooks still only gloss over the subject. If you don't find that horribly offensive, then I just can't help you.

You should not help me, you should focus your attention on the modern slavery that still is playing a part of this world. And if it's so important, maybe the American government should do something about it. Because one film is not going to change the stance of an entire government towards a dark time for America. And not all white people then were slavers, they just did not dare to speak out against it, in fear of any (social) repercussions. Luckily that changed with Abraham Lincoln. But the image of the great white (slaver) that's usually a bull-crock image people still keep high to use as a verbal 'weapon' in current (geo)political conversation. Just like the fact that a lot of people think that all Germans were Nazi's during World War II. But a more reasoned man would know that the Germans who would stand against Hitler would face execution for treason.

"The N word" is not used as often as you'd think, actually. I expected a whole lot more. Also, it's used by white racist people who use that term to describe a black slave like we use "person." "Hey, here's a nigger." "hey, here's a person." You see?

The white actors have more lines, yes, but that's because Django doesn't talk much. As for Jackson's character, he doesn't shut the fuck up when he turns up near the end.

You also should remember that black people weren't allowed to talk much so they didn't.

As for the violence, I don't think it's glorified, compared to his other movies. Tarantino shows a lot of restraint and the worst violence is off screen and more effective. Am I the only one who laughs at a guy getting his head blown off in Pulp Fiction but is uneasy and uncomfortable when, off screen, a guy beats a guy's head in with a hammer?

At the heart of it, it's a Spaghetti Western so you're not gonna get an accurate portrayal of this subject but, let's face it, this is gonna get a whole lot more views than that sort of film. Therefore, more talking. Also, at the end of the day, a new hero was created. He's a fantastic one, too. Not because he's black but because he's awesome.

No, it's not racist, but the movie is a definitely a bit juvenile in its approach to the matter. But - then again - that's just Tarantino for you. :P

I decided to peek at this thread again and I saw Myrmecodon's post.

Now I'm reminded of why I don't look at the escapist forums very often.

My first reaction: "Well, yeah. Of course it's rascist, it's set during the slave trade."
However I feel I may have missed several themes after listening to Bob...
He reminds me of a friend I had in Secondary School who analysed The Wizard of Oz as an analogy for some agricultural struggle the farmers were having or something. I thought he was over-analysing; turns out there are others like him.
Maybe I'm just a sociopath, and I can't pick up on those things.

Teoes:

Anoni Mus:
Tarentino is savvy.

Does anyone know if there's a topic for this interview? This guy is awesome.

I loved how that hit some media outlets over the weekend with "OMG Tarantino's bizarre rant!" and some screenshots taken out of context; spend a few minutes actually watching the interview, and you see how much Guru-Murthy was trying to bait him. "So violence, why do people like violent films, why do you make violent films, violence, violence, what about your responsibilities as a filmmaker using all this violence, do you think there's a link between violent films and psychopaths, violence, violence?"

The Graham Norton Show was brilliant last week; with Tarantino, James McAvoy and Alan Davies. Not particularly deep (what do you expect from Graham Norton?) but a good laugh.

I found Tarintino quite a pillock in that interview. He was hardly baited, though the publicity remark was rather spiteful...
At approxiamately 2:00, completely ignored the question and ran with his dialogue success; despite many modern Brits not having Slavery (as a taboo) at the forefront of their minds when discussing black people.
My opinion? It happened. We fixed it. It's over. We move on.

And he doesn't even know that he put "comfort girls", i.e. sexual exploitation, into HIS OWN MOVIE... Interesting.
Aaaaaannnnnnddd the final parts of 6:31... THAT was rather defensive. I believe as a filmmaker (or, as someone who puts his views up for public display) he does have a responsibilty to tell us why he feels the way he does; especially if they are first-time viewers of his work.
I would have asked pretty much all of those questions; apart from "directors' didn't get better as they got older", that seemed rather useless.
I didn't see him on Graham Norton though, so I pass on that.

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?

Well... Spike Lee is an idiot and he calls everything racist, especially if that thing is associated with a white person.
---
Wait a second... wouldn't that make Spike the racist?

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?

Spike Lee is pretty much one dimensional when it comes to his politics, he tends to remain pretty much within the cosm of Black America rather than actually being a champion of equality.

Ever since Spike did his "Malcom X" movie there has been a lot speculation and supporting evidence tying Spike to the Black Muslim movement, and specifically "Nation Of Thisslam" though I believe he has continued to deny connection.

This is an issue because when you get down to it "Black Muslims" are basically religiouslly fueled pro-black Nazis with what amounts to a genocidal agenda towards whites instead of Jews. It comes down to the belief that once there was the black man, who was the only, and original, man and how an ancient scientist sorceror with a fascination with magnets named "Yakub" (or Jacob) discovered a form of genetics and created white people as a weapon to oppress the proper, black man. Whites basically not being true humans. Yakub and the "white devil" being responsible for all woes to effect blacks, along with a prophecy that the white devil is prophecied to fall and the proper black man will once again rule the planet. You can look it up on wikipedia as "Yakub" and other sources if your curious about the mythology. This was incidently the inspiration for Charles Manson's predictions of "Helter Skelter" which was going to be the great war between whites and blacks, which whites would lose, but would themselves rise up again, with his cult being preparation for these events.

When you get down to it, I don't think Spike is militantly violent in a direct sense, but really I don't think he cares about anyone who isn't black on a fundemental, and spiritual level. He's not a guy who is going to come out to defend a group of impoverished people or victims unless large numbers of blacks are going to benefit from it. That isn't his fight (so to speak).

-

At any rate, what I think/suspect about Spike Lee aside, my opinion about "Django" is well documented, I don't think the movie is racist, so much as a work of blaxploitation cinema, intended to drudge up political issues and cause divides and conflicts, which also means a lot of attention and money. In a situation where the biggest problem facing black america is black america and it's counter cultures, creating a movie like this seems to justify anti-societal behavior and a political victim complex is counter productive. Especially seeing as it's portrayal of slavery is just as inaccurate as the happy slave strumming his banjo all day, except in the other direction.

That said, I can see why Spike Lee doesn't like it, it plays to similar sentiments and positions to his own, but not in an extremely reverant way, and points in directions I'd imagine he doesn't think black america is quite ready for yet.

Such are my thoughts.

While I'm hardly a fan, I'd point out that the whole "horrors of slavery" thing is not exactly new either. "Roots" which pretty much launched Levarr Burton's career covered a lot of the same material, without being quite as exploitive (though also hardly balanced or accurate to the realities).

I think nobody is addressing the huge elephant in the room.

In Django Unchained, a good German fights in the lawless, immoral and lurid USA alongside one of the actual good (and brutalized) people who built the place with their own hands. Which is treated as an inferior race. I bet the whole concept has enough alarm bells whistling in the sanitized way of reasoning of Americans not to accept it as it is, ah ah.

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