Best movie of 2012? I’d go with Django Unchained. It’s basically every movie Quentin Tarantino‘s ever made + Blazing Saddles. Gory, at times unsettling, and at times uproariously funny, Django is both a crowd-pleasing revenge flick and a scathing look at the inhumanity of white Southerners in the 1800′s.
It’s about slavery. As such, the N-word gets used. A lot.
This did not sit well with director Spike Lee. Prior to the film’s release, Lee tweeted his displeasure with the movie that he hadn’t seen:
Lee has a history of chastising Tarantino for using the n-word, going back to Jackie Brown. When that film was released, Lee called out Tarantino for “excessive use” of the word. Lee, who made the movies Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, and Miracle at St. Anna, which all featured racist white people and even some black people using the n-word (but that’s totally different. Why? Because it just is), has been roundly chided by other filmmakers and actors for his stance on Django. Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson and others have responded publicly, saying that since the movie takes place in the South in the 1800′s, and the main character is a freed slave who is trying to rescue his slave wife from slaveowners, it is to be expected that slavery will be depicted in the movie (and it is, in pretty nauseating detail) and that the n-word will be thrown about (and it is, and SPOILER ALERT pretty much everyone who says it gets blown away by Django).
Lee also objects to the movie’s use of American slavery as a plot point. Lee, who directed Inside Man - a genre film about a Jewish family who seeks vengeance against a group of Nazi-sympathizing bankers…you know what? This is making me tired. In a related story, my daughter hates Brussels sprouts even though he’s never tried them. Also, she likes My Little Pony but thinks that the Care Bears are stupid.
So what do you think about this whole mess? Does Lee have a point, or is he being unreasonable?