Yes, n-word used more than 100 times (set in the year 1858, when New World enslavement was in its approximately 239th year)…
Whatever weird dynamic of admiration/disrespect/fear that writer and director Quentin Jerome Tarantino may harbor for Blacks, particularly Black males, it’s clear that he definitely has a huge n-word obsession, which is solidified with this film and officially sealed with the final scene – which appears AFTER the closing credits. (Did he use kike – a Jewish derogatory racial slur – at all in “Inglourious Basterds”?) Because this derogatory racial slur, the n-word, is used in its historical context and in its original setting by the White people who created it, he succeeded in getting his fix to use it ad nauseam. Maybe now, some Blacks will understand the dehumanizing process that took place for over 200 years and the enslaved mindset that keeps too many of them fooled into using it so recklessly today. But with those facts aside, the main thing that makes this film worthy is that it shows a slice – really just a smidgen – of America’s history of chattel slavery and its centuries-long brutal treatment of Black people that’s not only rarely put on the screen but that is intentionally inaccurately told and greatly diluted through the entire educational system from grade school to post graduate studies to keep that extensive period of American history whitewashed.
Yes, this film is in typical Tarantino vengeance and bloodfest excess so don’t expect anything different in that regard. Additionally – and nothing more was expected – while it makes many of the players in enslavement seem like idiots who are stumbling and dumb (with Tarantino even giving his questionably simplistic opinion on Blacks thinking “We were afraid of these idiots?”), it sheds little light on the MANY educated and professional ones who kept the institution of slavery in America alive and running (judges, lawyers, doctors, businessmen, educators, politicians, law enforcement, and more) for centuries. And while the film chose to focus primarily on the physical abuse and brutality of that enslavement, it intentionally did not include any scenes of the daily sexual abuse that millions of Black people (girls/boys and women/men) endured by White slaveowners and overseers for centuries. For the many people who are only vaguely familiar or totally unfamiliar with the extent of the massive sexual abuse that went on regularly, there was also just a smidgen of it in the film’s screenplay with the Kerry Washington “Broomhilda” character. These are the scenes as written by Tarantino that were excluded from the current version of the film; they are on pages 7 and 157 at these links for the official screenplay:
Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote this fair synopsis about one of his reasons for supporting the film:
“…. This film, to the extent that it is historically accurate, probably mortified many of the people in the audience by showing the depths of dehumanization that took place during the greatest holocaust in American history. Unfortunately, this film will be the best education on slavery that many of the audience members will ever receive, but it’s certainly better than nothing…. No matter how we feel about ‘Django Unchained,’ we should be sure to remember that the best way to have our stories told is to tell them ourselves. Gaining the ability to finance our own projects creates both the opportunity and the responsibility to make films that present a more accurate representation of black humanity and the black experience. Life does imitate art, and if we want to put an end to some of the shucking, jiving and buck dancing many of us still see in our communities, then managing the imagery of ourselves in both film and music might be a great place to start.”
Further questions about issues surrounding this film are:
How long will Blacks continue to recklessly and excessively call one another nigger/a?
How long will Blacks continue dancing/partying/BBQing/laughing to Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, etc. calling them nigger/a? Who really pays/bankrolls these entertainers?
Should Blacks realistically complain about a White guy putting this derogatory racial slur in HIS film showing how HIS people originated its use to control, dehumanize, and demean Black people when too many Blacks either shamelessly use it themselves amongst family/friends and on social networks or say absolutely nothing when they hear and see it being used amongst family/friends and on social networks?
Samuel L. Jackson
Quentin Jerome Tarantino
Weinstein Company/Columbia Pictures
c/o Sony Corporation of America
550 Madison Avenue – 27th Floor
New York, NY 10022