I finally caved and watched Django last week, mostly because my boyfriend really wanted to see it and it was his birthday. This is my take on it.
While there was some very cool cinematography used and one of the only movies to my knowledge that the main character may have actually been a Black person, I was not pleased with the movie for the most part.
Many people argue that Tarantino depicted the atrocities of the antebellum era in this country marvelously and so it was truthful, which may be true. However, my problem with the film is ultimately that the main character, Django, still had to be empowered by Dr. Schultz, who was German by the way and in my opinion, not incidentally so, but I digress. The bottom line is that in Tarantino’s interpretation Django would have suffered the same fate as the general slave population had he not been saved by Dr. Schultz. He placed Schultz in that position of power from the very beginning of the film. Without him, Django wouldn’t have escaped that chain gang. He wouldn’t have known how to shoot a gun as well or find his wife. Without Dr. Schultz Django wouldn’t have been free. Django still had to have the permission of and be heavily assisted by a representation of his oppressors in order to even begin to achieve his goals. That is my problem with the movie from a critical perspective.
It was possible for slaves to escape slavery on their own terms and by their own means because it happened countless times. There were communities filled with them. Why couldn’t that story have been told? I found this article posted about Bass Reeves, a slave who escaped his captors and found brothers with the Creek and Seminole Native Americans. It’s a story that forces me to ask that same question over and over like an echo. Why couldn’t that story have been told?
Read the article and let me know what you guys think? Would you have watched that movie rather than Django Unchained?