Filmmaker Spike Lee has shared his thoughts on Django Unchained, he ain’t seeing it. The 55-year old director reportedly thinks the Quentin Tarantino film is disrespectful to his ancestors. Tarantino doesn’t care too much what Lee thinks because, as he’s said, “Black people get my movies.”
“Django Unchained,” which opens on Christmas Day, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. Jamie Foxx plays the lead character, Django, a freed slave who works with a bounty hunter rescue his wife from the slave owners who bought her.
Spike Lee tweeted, “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western.It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.” I wonder if Lee would feel the same way if he was the one to put the same unique spin on a tale of slavery as Tarantino did for his most recent film. While Spike has done much to open doors for many Black actors, including Samuel L. Jackson, he’s known for criticizing pretty much filmmaker who isn’t Black for handling anything that has to do with “Black America.”
For his part, Tarantino remains unmoved. He’s no stranger to criticism for the violence, sex and brazen subject matter that he explores in his films. Certainly Spike Lee calling ‘Django Unchained’ disrespectful isn’t enough to deter Tarantino from creating his unique brand of films.
While legendary filmmaker Lee is showing signs of his usually sour disposition regarding any director in Hollywood that’s not him, there have been some criticisms of language and some of the brutal scenes in ‘Django Unchained’. An early review of the movie reveals, “Django Unchained’ not only plunges Tarantino back into the racially sensitive territory that has brought him criticism in the past, it essentially explodes it. The n-word is used more than 100 times in the film. Two especially violent scenes of slavery – one a Mandingo brawl, the other involving a dog – even Tarantino calls “traumatizing.”
Audiences might cringe at the use of the n-word, however, would a film set during the slave-era be true to form if the word was omitted?
Also, the ‘Inglorious Bastards’ filmmaker has a unique take on many other historical events, as the film of the same name was set during the Holocaust and in it Hitler was killed. During the actual historical event, Hitler took his own life.
The significance of the re-writes of his ‘historical movies’ lie in the revenge aspect. Audiences have come to know Tarantino’s movies as the ones where the bad guys always get their just due. ‘Kill Bill’ is another example of his tales of revenge and violence.
For Tarantino controversy is just another part of his job.
“Not to sound too full of myself, but I guess I have the shoulders to carry it,” he says. “You just have to be able to walk the walk and carry it. I’ll take the stones that come my way for it. There might be some controversy right now but then that goes away. Frankly, it’s a very short amount of time in the course of a life of a movie.”