Quentin Tarantino’s new movie Django Unchained has been sparking controversy since its Christmas Day release. The film is about a freed slave who works with a bounty hunter in order to free his wife from a plantation owner.
The film is being criticized for it’s graphic portrayal of slavery. It contains extreme violence and excessive use of the N-word. The word is used more than 110 times in the movie, and there are scenes of disturbing violence against African American slaves.
I saw the movie and had not heard about any of the controversy before I saw it. Overall I thought the movie was good, but question if some things were pushed too far.
Tarantino said that he did not want to water down the portrayal of slavery in the movie, and wanted it to be very realistic to the time period. That is why the n-word is used excessively, and why there are some scenes of disturbing, graphic violence against African American slaves. I can respect Tarantino’s goal of wanting to present slavery as the extremely horrible evil that it was in a realistic way, so I understand why these things are in the movie. However, those few scenes were terrifying to watch, and it seemed like everyone in the theater I was in, including myself, was very disturbed by them. Could the movie have been as powerful if these scenes were not in it?
Spike Lee called the movie’s portrayal of slavery “disrespectful”. Some critics have been saying that a serious and disturbing topic like slavery should not be portrayed as a quirky Spaghetti Western.
Check out the video of Tarantino speaking about the movie, and feel free to leave your opinions in the comments!