From Jeffrey Wright’s superlative interview on Sway in the Morning where he gives his take on Django. It gave me another reason not to see the film.
Wright analyzes the film’s power dynamics with trenchant flair:
“Why does the film need a German character at its center?”
“Why is the central battle not between Django and the plantation owner, but between Django and the Uncle Tom figure?
“Why are the black characters except for Samuel L. Jackson’s two dimensional in conception and, therefore, in performance?”
It’s the exact same issue I have with Scandal and Deception. Even with sorely needed black female leads at the center of these projects —
Pause, commercial interruption.
It is outrageous that there hasn’t been a black female lead on a network show since the 1970s!
Diahann Carroll as Julia
Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
— their and our ultimate concern is for the President or for the dead young white woman. I.e., someone other than themselves.
Many viewers have celebrated Django’s concern for his wife, but as far as I can tell, she remains a beautiful cipher. Nothing Like a Man or even Love Jones were probably more daring and true to life about black love than this film.
The struggle for and over black images continues.