Quentin Tarantino’s film ‘Django Unchained,’ a saga of the slavery era, may have won critical acclaim but has drawn the ire of director Spike Lee who, talking to VibeTV, has vehemently slammed it, calling it discourteous towards his ancestors, adding that that he was disinclined to seeing it as he felt that viewing it would be showing disrespect to his ancestors.
He had earlier tweeted that American slavery was a holocaust and not some western film made by Sergio Leone and that his ancestors were slaves, who had been stolen from their homes in Africa and that they merited his respect.
When another Twitter user objected to his use of the word holocaust and reasoned that American Slavery primarily happened because slaves were needed for tobacco, indigo, rice, and cotton farming, whereas the holocaust was all about killing and the destruction of a particular community, Lee took umbrage and angrily retorted, that even slaves died and mocked at the persons lack of knowledge and questioned his academic credentials, before sarcastically posing a query, “And George Washington Didn’t Own Slaves Too?”
Lee also alleged that Quentin was obsessed with using the “n-word” and that it was used excessively by him in his films. He acknowledged that he himself had used it in his films and that he was not really against it because there are people who use it in their everyday language but, he said, “Quentin is infatuated with that word.” I wish he’d understand that not all African-Americans find that word appealing.
Tarantino speaking to MTV News says that he found Lee’s accusations ludicrous. How many people can say that we have used the word more times than it was spoken in 1858 in Mississippi? If they cannot than they want me to manipulate the truth and to cloak my film in niceties that don’t reflect the reality. That’s not how I make my films, he said, I like to show my characters and tell my story, warts and all, without compromising on facts.
The film that is scheduled for a Christmas Day opening is a Western set in the South and tells the story of Django, a slave who is now free, two years after the Civil War. He becomes a treasure hunter, taught by another accomplished German bounty hunter and together they hunt down a wicked plantation owner, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, who owns Django’s wife as a slave and liberate her.
Like his other films, this one also bears his trademark amalgamation of laconic humor with a lot of well strategized violence and aggression and some first rate acting from huge Hollywood stars, whether Lee watches it or not it has success written all over it.