Dir. Quentin Tarantino
(2012, R, 165 minutes)
The controversy surrounding Django Unchained was not encouraging. Reactionary backlash can be misleading – no, Zero Dark Thirty is not an endorsement of torture – but when Quentin Tarantino, a frequently brilliant auteur who sometimes is also an indulgent cinema-geek who makes more movie references than movies, intends to make free use of the N-word to tell a story about slavery designed after old spaghetti westerns, we have good reason to be concerned. Has this white director, who has a tendency to wink through the camera, earned the right to wink about the historical sale and ownership of black people?