Quentin Tarantino’s highly-anticipated Django Unchained hasn’t even hit theaters yet, but it’s already become the most controversial film of the season, with its central theme of slavery being mashed up with the extreme violence and humor of a classic Blaxploitation film. And though the film is already causing a stir, the film’s director, Quentin Tarantino, recently stirred up even more drama when he criticized the landmark television miniseries “Roots.”
Since its 1977 debut, Alex Haley’s “Roots'” has been considered a “complete” and definitive telling of slavery in America and it still ranks as the third most-watched miniseries of all time. But in a new interview with The Daily Beast, Tarantino says that Roots was inauthentic in its depiction of slavery.
“When you look at Roots, nothing about it rings true in the storytelling, and none of the performances ring true for me either,” said Tarantino. “I didn’t see it when it first came on, but when I did I couldn’t get over how oversimplified they made everything about that time. It didn’t move me because it claimed to be something it wasn’t.”
Django Unchained’s producer Reginald Hudlin also shared Tarantino’s distaste for Roots, saying that he preferred the Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman flick Glory instead.
“I liked the black characters in Glory,” said Hudlin, whose great-grandfather was a conductor on the Underground Railroad. “Didn’t see the point of the white ones. The true story was the slaves in the film. They should have been the main focal point of the entire plot. But somehow no one figured that out.”
However, both men feel confident that Django Unchained gives an accurate depiction of the lives of black American slaves. And though black celebrities like Spike Lee have already shared their disdain for Django Unchained, the film’s stars Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington have both praised Tarantino’s filmmaking, saying that he thoroughly researched the time period for the film.
Well, hopefully, Tarantino won’t present a film that will make him eat his own words and put Django on the list with these other films that were racially offensive. Check them out below. – nicholas robinson