Quentin Tarantino’s (QT) new film, Django, has elicited many responses across the spectrum on race, gender, class, and even God. The film has created a type of blog/ essay sensation and many were talking about it long before it was even released. QT is no rookie to controversy; critics have railed on QT for too much violence, use of the word “nigger,” sexism, and a litany of other issues with his films. Since Reservoir Dogs, QT has become accustomed to controversy around the issues of race, class, and gender. Thus his latest, Django, is no less causing quite the stir—particularly in the cultural/ Black studies academic community.
Now, let me first say that I agree with many of the points and issues raised in the blogs against Django. I also think that the issues of violence, male dominance, the saving of yet another “damsel in distress,” and patriarchal violent retribution are all problems. David Leonard and Tamura Lomax’s interview on The Feminist Wire was right on point as an analysis of the film. And I support Spike Lee’s wishes to not see the film.
However…QT did not invent the issues of sexism and the patriarchal protagonist; QT did not conjure up the image of the violent male in film; QT, moreover, did not invent the word nigger; what QT does do is to capitalize and build a story off of those surrounding matters. Wrong? Yes and no. Those issues are confounding and a reality for sure. Genius? Maybe. What Django does is a tell a story within those violent male confines which have traditionally been reserved for White men, and give a heroic placement to a Black male (played by Jaime Foxx).
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