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Arts & Entertainment

"Django Unchained" (-) Movie Review by Ed Koch

What shocked me after seeing this film was A.O. Scott's review in The New York Times. He compared it with "Lincoln," suggesting: "So maybe it's not so different from 'Lincoln,' after all. And if 'Django Unchained' is not better, it is arguably more radical, both as cinema and as (fanciful) history. A double feature might be just the thing, if you have five and a half hours to spare. By any means necessary!" Ridiculous.
 
This movie probably uses the N-word dozens of times to make its point that the whites owning slaves in the south before the Civil War saw their slaves as chattel, not human, but merchandise to be dealt with any way they wanted to.
 
All undoubtedly true. I, for one, do not believe any word is off limits when used appropriately. But all of us have been cowed so that we won't use the N-word, only the initial. Unless we are black or Quentin Tarantino, who is white and certainly someone not only aghast at the history of slavery, but would have been at the forefront fighting it when it existed. John Lennon and Yoko Ono got it right when they wrote "Woman is the Nigger of the World," conveying the real current meaning of the word, a reference to the untouchable. The rest of us simply have given up our first amendment rights and will not use the word. I remember how shocked I was that an editor of The New York Times who is black, defended his use of the word. Spike Lee recently wrote that he would not see the film because it treated blacks poorly and diminished the effect of the Holocaust that blacks endured. He is right to do so.
 
The plot involves a white bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Walz), who teams up with a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx), who is looking to buy his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). She is now owned by Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) who also owns a large plantation. The two had attempted to escape, were captured and sold. There is also a black overseer, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), more in the image of Simon Legree of the novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
 
All in all, this is a huge waste of time. It was played seriously, when it should have been directed by Mel Brooks. Don't waste your time.
 
 
 
 
 

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