Monday, December 31, 2012

Django Unchained Review
Peace! For those who didn't have an opportunity to check out The Geek Supremacy Project Radio Show I was on, I just wanted to give you a quick Review of the Film 'Django Unchained'.

1.) First and foremost I approach all Films as a Social Study and being Entertained is not the primary reason why I invest my time in checking it out. Quentin Tarentino is an Action Movie Maker so if you're intention for going to cee 'Django Unchained' was to cee him tackle the Institution of Slavery on Film from a "Drum", "Mandingo" or "Sankofa" Perspective you'll be sadly disappointed because that's not his Genre. This is an Action Film stylized as a 'Spaghetti Western'. Spaghetti Westerns were low budget Westerns produced in the 1960's by Italians, usually filmed in Europe and hence the association with 'spaghetti'. If you've checked out other Tarentino Films you'll cee these Western elements in there.

2.) What I most appreciated about 'Django Unchained' is it showed how complex and sophisticated the Institution of Slavery was on a psychological and sociopolitical level. Many people are under the false impression that "White People had Black People as Slaves." The reality is, various people of European Descent/Nations directly and indirectly participated in the Institution of Slavery and brought with them their own cultural nuances/considerations to the table. For example, French, English, so-called Jewish, German and etc. Slavers did things alittle differently. If you know anything about the French, they were historically more sexually (sadomasicism) orientated than the English which painted a different social backdrop for their Plantations. These Europeans didn't always get along either and definately didn't just group themselves together as "White People". This Film clearly shows how a German (Dr. Shultz for example) didn't "entirely" identify with a Southern American or a Frenchman. The concept of Race Relations (White vs Black) was a sick smelting process that took many years to forge in America in order to have these European Descendants buy into the idea of being "White Americans". Prior to this, they were simply Jews, Scottish, American and etc. Slavers and Colonial Transplants (Rural/Towns People) that didn't always group all "Black People" together because all Black People in America pre the Civil War weren't Slaves. If you really want to do your research you'll find that there were many Black People here before any Europeans that were NEVER Slaves. When America declared Independance from Britain they signed a Treaty of Friendship with Morocco in 1777 which consequently reasserted the sociopolitical status of some of the Moors who were living and doing business here. 'Django Unchained' does an excellent job expressing some of these historical, cultural nuances and subtleties. For those of us who study 120, this gives you excellent cultural context to your 1-36 or "English" C Lessons that primarily deals with Slavery under the English.

3.) 'Django Unchained' also showed the "congnitive dissonance" that came along with ceeing a Free Black Person (Django) and other Blacks (Enslaved Blacks) occupying the same place at the same time. This "congnitive dissonance" or difficulty trying to reconcile new information that conflicts with our presently held beliefs is something that affected both the European/American Slavers and Enslaved Blacks alike. Ceeing Django express a sense of 'Self Determination by dressing himself, speaking for himself and performing basic human functions (like riding a horse) was something that many European/American Towns People, Slavers and Enslaved Blacks never experienced. The same phenomena exists today...

4.) There's a beautiful Black Woman named 'Sheba' who Slavemaster Candie keeps by his side. Because of the way she dresses, expresses herself and what she has access to you actually get the impression that she's Free. Sheba holds this position all the way up to the point where Lara-Lee (Candie's Sister) enters the room and automatically demotes her to being "The Help". Not because of Lara-Lee asserting her hierarchical position b.u.t. based upon the glorious marbled pedestal the White Woman was primarily placed upon in America by White Men -for show of course! You also cee an incestuous relationship implied between Candie and Lara-Lee which is something wasn't uncommon on Plantations and amongst early European Colonialists. What this Film also makes perfectly CLEAR is how the unsoiled Lara-Leeized fantasy was being forged in the minds of Black Men/Women that many of us still salivate (lust) over and/or use as a standard model of beauty today. This non-verbal Power Dynamic shown between Lara-Lee vs Sheba is a historical relationship (and rivalry) that still colors relationships between Black and White Women today!

5.) The Slave 'Steven' (Samuel L. Jackson) looked like Gollum (Lord of the Rings) and was a House Nigga that made James David Manning (ATLAH Worldwide Missionary Church) appear like Khalid Abdul Muhammad.

6.) Django had a Mission; to save his Woman. The torture, torment and inhumanity he and his Woman were exposed/subjected to during the process, while he maintained his composure and focus to fulfill that Mission is a Lesson in and of itself for any Black Man. Many of us get easily sidetracked by the most trivial things and loose sight of the fact that Cultural Freedom and Family is vital to our survival as a people.

7.) The subtleties! The conspicuous handshake between Django and his 'Master' Dr. Shultz (cee Tubal-Cain; Metallurgy) initiating him into the Bounty Hunting Profession. The Candie Plantation (of 'French' orientation) being in Mississippi instead of Louisiana where Plantations like this primarily were. The emphasis on Law/Legalities by 'The German' Dr. Shultz (cee Muhlenberg). These are all worth looking into to gain a larger Persepctive of the Backdrop that eventually forged America's Sociopolitical landscape we're living on today.

8.) Spike Lee, as I said last week, is a Red Hook Hater. The only one I've ever heard him give credit to were The NY Knicks. Welp.., willfully he can Direct/Produce a Film about the subject matter of Slavery that shows respect to our Ancestors. I will definately check it out and critique that too.

9.) All in all I think 'Django Unchained' is an excellent Social Study for those of us who're are interested in getting a better understanding of the conditions, complications and complexities that came along with the various Relationships during the time of Slavery pre the Civil War. This Film definately doesn't show you everything and many things are simply implied yet analyzing/assessing these implications are well worth the research!


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