by Laverne Merriweather
There appears to be a lot of buzz over the new movie from director Quentin Tarantino starring Jamie Foxx, Samuel Jackson, Kerry Washington and Leonardo Dicaprio titled Django Unchained about a freed slave turned bounty hunter who vows revenge on the men that have kidnapped his wife. The movie is getting much praise from critics and talk of several Oscar nods.
Still, because of the subject matter, it has caused a lot of controversy too. Now, having written that, I have to admit on paper it sounds like a pretty kick ass story, and Lord knows after years of movies with the long suffering black folks at the hands of ‘whitey’ it would be interesting – to the say the least – to see how a tale of payback would play out. However, like a number of black people, I have a bunch of problems with this film for several reasons and I haven’t even seen it yet.
First off, the fact that ugly bighead Quentin Tarantino is involved in any way is enough to make me want to cringe. For those of you not in the know, I can’t STAND Tarantino. He’s an arrogant, snide, pissy, egotistical little prick who tries to use his so-called artistic license to get away with being a rabid racist cuntbag. What’s worse though is that he’s never really had his feet held to the fire by black people. Something I have yet to understand. Are we disgusted with the n-word or aren’t we? Because if we are, then we have a very questionable way of showing it.
Granted, the movie is set in slavery days, and to not have the word used would be disingenuous, but Tarantino is someone who has used and abused the n-word even when it wasn’t appropriate. My sister told me about a scene in one of his earlier movies True Romance where Dennis Hopper, in a fit of rage, called Christopher Walken the n-word. Ummmm WHAT?! Not only is Mr. Walken white, he is super pasty white, and if he’s getting called that word, then the person who came up with that idea is hiding behind his use by saying that he’s a ‘filmmaker’. Yeah, bullshit punk. You are a sorry ass racist, and no amount of song and dance about how you are an artist or how it’s just a movie will sway me or make me think this is only for the sake of the movie and not something that you would say in private company when you know none of the people you try to fool will hear you.
Even if the movie were directed and produced by somebody else like say John Singleton or Ang Lee, I would still take a pause, but the fact that a self- absorbed a-hole who gets off on celebrating a word of pure hatred and cruelty will definitely make me think twice about spending my dollars on it. I like to be entertained as much as the next person, but paying for the wealthy lifestyle of a pussy little bigot is not my idea of good time. And for those of you who say, “well it’s only a movie” so was Birth of a Nation. Should I also happily celebrate that piece of garbage as well?
I know there are many black people who are completely done with those Hollywhite slave movies where black people are the perpetual victim as they spend damn near every moment of the film being either a punching bag for their white master or an unwilling object of desire having to wait for some benevolent white soul to come and save them while screaming for a call to end this violent horror (cough Amistad cough). There actually were a few slave revolts back in the day. The most famous one being led by a man named Nat Turner, but I think we all know how badly that story ended.
While the whole notion of getting even is a sweet one, it’s also not the least bit realistic. And before anyone goes back to the ‘movie’ argument, if you are going to do a film about slavery, then at least attempt to put some believable enough humanity into it. Slavery was no fairy tale. If anything, it was quite possibly one of the most fucked up experiences any group would ever have to go through, save the Jews and the Holocaust. So, to reduce that sickening tragedy to an ‘angry black man getting even and it all ends happily’ story is insipid at best and downright insulting at worst.
This reminds me of those so-called really, really bold black folks who love to brag how if they were back in slavery days, Jim Crow days or in any day where black people had to hang their head and pick their battles when what they actually wanted to do was open up a can of whoop ass. The only reason why you get to say that is because all the smoke has cleared, and if you were to truly find out what it was like to be a slave, you would behave the exact same way they did and that is someone who appreciates breathing so much that they are willing to suffer some of the shittiest indignities you could ever imagine someone having to.
Playing dress up and trying to rewrite the past doesn’t change it or erase the pain of it. All it does is exacerbate it by your thoughtless insensitivity. If this movie were being done out of respect and not just to make a buck, then I might consider seeing it on the big screen, but since it’s not, they will just have to contend with a very empty seat and my middle finger.