A Southerner’s Thoughts on “Django Unchained”

A few weeks ago, I went on Facebook and asked which of my cousins will go see “Django Unchained” with me the day after Christmas.  I’m happy to say 9 of us trekked to the theater.  As I was getting some refreshments, the guy behind the counter, he could not be older than 16, asked which movie I was going to see.  When I told him, his response was, “Oh, you’ll like it.  It was really funny!”  I, being a 30 year old Black woman that grew up in the South and knowing the premise of the movie, did not think that “funny” was the most accurate word to describe this film.

While watching Django, I had to turn my head a few times.  If you know Tarantino, you know his movies are full of cursing, blood, and violence.  I was prepared for the MFer’s.  I was prepared for the “nigger”s.  I was even prepared for the violence.  However, when Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, handed a hammer to his mandingo fighter and told him to finish his opponent, I turned my head.  The silence heard after that weapon was used was deafening in my ears. You realized just how hard these men were fighting to stay alive.

Now, to give credit to the young White boy behind the counter, there were some funny moments.  Take for instance the portrayal of some racist Whites, who were supposed to be pre-KKK members.  And the very end, when Django was able to enact revenge on those that kept his wife.  But referring to the entire movie as funny is grossly incorrect.  Honestly, I’m not sure how I would categorize Django.  I didn’t like it.  I didn’t not like it.  My emotions are up in the air.  When my mom asked me what I thought, I told her I didn’t know; I would have to go see it again.  My main take-away from the film was the love story.  This man did not let ANYTHING stop him from rescuing his wife.  How often do we see a man go through hell and highwater to get to his woman, especially on screen?  Not very often.

I love Spike Lee movies, from “School Daze” to “Bamboozled”.  But I need him to stop trying to keep his name in people’s mouths by telling folks to boycott this film.  He needs to find something constructive to do.

In the end, my cousins liked the movie.  I’m on the fence, which is highly ironic since I’m the main reason we all went together.  I’m sure I’ll see it again.  And I probably should not have watched “Queen” right before I went to see it… Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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7 Comments

  1. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it either. It WAS funny…sometimes to the point of disbelief…It was symbolic when you look at the tobacco-stained teeth motif that was present throughout the film…there were a great deal of historic and literary significances as well. It was overall a very emotional movie and yes, I will have to watch it again, like you. I would like Spike Lee to take several seats until he watches it and can make a significant contribution to the conversation.

  2. The movie was great. I saw it today and it was very entertaining. I liked the violence, the comedic parts, the acting, the writing, and the love story. I like that the love story was there, but not super in your face. Most brothers I know are desensitized to violence and the N-word.

    I know it doesn’t have the infidelity and praise for the White man by Black women like Scandal, but its a good movie.

    *SHOTS FIRED*

  3. A mark of a good movie is whether it makes you think. The topic is emotional and it’s bound to play on your feelings. I enjoyed the movie. Admittedly, I covered my eyes too, particularly during the scenes you mentioned. I liked Tarantino’s satire. I’m angry with Soike Lee though. Boycott a movie full of black actors? What is he smoking? And where is his slave movie, may I ask? And Samuel… I usually love him. The mark I a good actor is the ability to make you hate them and I hated him so much I wanted to take Django’s gun and shoot him first in the … And then in the head. Love Tarantino or hate him but he portrayed slave relationships very accurately and I personally respect him for that. Anyone could have done a half a job at it but he didn’t. That’s my 8 cents 🙂 all late.

    • I was thinking the same thing; with the abundance of movies that he’s made, especially “Malcolm X”, it’s PASS time for Spike to make a movie based on the slave era. I think instead of making movies, he’s found it saves him money to not make movies but to just tell people to boycott other movies, that way he still gets publicity and we still talk about him.

  4. First picture I have seen that paints the scene in the south with some so accuracy. A very extreme yet likely correct presentation of the worst of pre civil war white southern elite. Very distrubing undertones. No wonder the “Red” southern states today remain so red. Now I kinow where the Tea Party gets its strength.

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