Quentin Tarantino’s controversial movie, Django Unchained, has drawn strong reactions for mashing up a spaghetti western with a slave narrative. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, has upped the ante with a take on the film that moves beyond historical context and into perceived present-day threats.
“To me, the movie had a purpose,” he said. “If a black man came out of that movie thinking like Djngo and white people came out of that movie seeing the slaughter of white people and they are armed to the teeth, it’s preparation for a race war.”
While Spike Lee, the most vocal of the films detractors called the film “disrespectful to my ancestors,” Farrakhan said he doesn’t see the film in the same light as Lee.
“I always try to watch a film and ascertain what is the motive of the writer and the producer,” he told Your Black World, “Not the actor…Every actor in that film, in my humble judgement, played their part.”
He outlined the plot of the film, in which freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) kills the slavers while on a bloody mission to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) who is being held by a devious plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his top slave (Samuel Jackson).
Farrakhan gave the actors high marks for their roles but pointed to a more sinister motive of the producers. (One of the film’s producers is prominent African-American flimmaker Reginald Hudlin).
“Looking at motives is what concerns me,” Farrakhan said. “A black man angry, bitter. So deeply in love that he would endure what he endured to free her.”
He cited the rise of the gun ownership and militias in America after President Obama’s election as a sign of an combative racial climate.
“To me the movie changed the direction of guns against a focus on a government that’s not working well, to a threat from black people who have suffered and endured the worst form of slavery in human history,” he said.
“Do you think that they don’t think that if black folk had a chance to do what they had done to us… that is what the movie is saying, that one out of 10,000 will be like that and maybe more.”
–E. Parker, CBS Local