I remember coming out of the cinema after just watching Django Unchained spoiling for a fight; so naturally I logged onto Twitter and quickly found one. To be fair the following debate was heated but respectful. He had one point that I found difficult to accept and it’s a point that I’ve heard repeatedly elsewhere.
As a black man, I should be offended/ disrespected by Django.
I find nothing about Django Unchained offensive or disrespectful. Well, almost nothing.
There is one scene.
After Django and his good Doctor pay a visit to Don Johnson’s (Big Daddy) plantation to assassinate a pair of fugitives, Big Daddy rounds up all of his white friends to teach Django and his “nigger loving” companion a lesson.
What follows is probably the funniest scene of the whole movie and possibly one of the funniest scenes of any Tarantino movie.
One of Big Daddy’s fellow racists was in charge of brining pillow cases with holes cut out in them so the soon to be murders could see where they are going, but his wife didn’t do it properly. Big Daddy’s group of racists argue over these pillow cases to the point of absurdity.
Like I said, the scene is ridiculously funny. I was laughing my head off until I realised that the room full of mostly white faces were laughing along with me – and then I stopped laughing.
Essentially what Tarantino was doing in the scene was re-writing history and showing his version of how the Klu Klux Klang was created. In his mind, the KKK were a bunch of racist idiots, who couldn’t get anything simple done – like cutting holes in a pillow case. Except, in the real world they could.
This scene proves that Tarantino is a hell of a talent. I personally think he’s a better writer than director. But with this scene, I did feel a whiff of disrespect.
I’m not accusing Tarantino or those who helplessly laughed at this scene of racism – but I am saying that maybe there wasn’t a real appreciation of history. The bumbling idiots depicted in that scene where part of an institution that killed thousands as they cowardly hid their identity in those pillow cases.
Most of all, I respect QT’s giant balls for even writing the scene. But maybe, even for me, his toe may have crossed a line.