Django: Slavery as an ‘Unbridled’ Reality?

Yes, folks, the ‘D’ is silent. But that’s about the only thing one cannot hear amid the media buzz that surrounds Quentin Tarantino’s latest homage to arguably the darkest part of American history.

Everyone has something to say about the new film ‘Django Unchained’. Viewer opinion on the movie’s content is about as numerous and varied as are mouths making the claims. Whether surfing the message boards on your favorite gossip sites, browsing social media, or even watching the national news, spectators can agree on one thing: this movie has people talking. Yet, the conversation that surrounds this film might be the first of its kind. It is a fascinating tale that causes many of us to walk out of the theater not knowing ‘what’ to think.

Talk Show host Tavis Smiley has called ‘Django’ a spoof of American slavery. Others, most notably the movie’s cast and Director, argue that it is rather an ugly truth, and a glimpse at a reality otherwise eradicated from history books.

Are we so quick to dismiss the film’s main character as a mere figment of Tarantino’s wild imagination? Is Jamie Foxx’s on screen persona nothing more than a fabricated black superhero? Perhaps we must examine the untold stories of history to answer these questions. Certain American figures do exist to show us that characters like ‘Django’ might have been real at the time of slavery.

Calvin Candie [Leonardo DiCaprio] called Django ‘one of ten thousand’. That might be the case; but examples of slave rebellion are more frequent than recognized. Think of figures like Nat Turner and even their white counterparts like John Brown. If you do not know these names, look them up. While rarely known to many other than history buffs, their bravery and willingness to challenge a devastating status quo during the pre-Civil war era speaks to the possibility of a lesser known truth. Perhaps one that ‘Django’ seeks to uncover. No movie has even gone to such great lengths to showcase such a feat of radicalism. Yet, is it to be applauded or shunned?

Hardly anyone can agree on what the movie seeks to accomplish. Whether for pure entertainment and shock value, or to tell an untold story, one cannot deny that tongues won’t stop wagging about the film.

Fact or fiction? You decide. One thing is for sure: this historical tale is making ‘history’ at box offices across the country as it reawakens a discussion about a time that some of us would rather not remember while others can never forget.

Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @missbritneysp

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