A few months ago we told you about Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Black western” Django Unchained, which follows a former slave who sets out to rescue his enslaved wife, Broomhilda.

A few months ago, Tambay of the film blog Shadow & Act read the ‘Django’ script and was shocked that an actress of Washington’s stature would take such a role because of its gratuitous nudity and lack of depth.

Tambay wrote:

Speaking of its blaxploitation influences… regarding the lead female character in this, named Broomhilda, Django’s slave wife, whom he’s separated from, and seeks. She’s the lead female in the film, but her part is limited to really just physicalities. She has the most screen time of any other woman in the film, which is why I call her the lead female character, but, really, there’s no Shosanna in this one, as there was in Inglorious Basterds. The black female “lead” here doesn’t get the same kind of dignified treatment that Tarantino gave Shosanna. Not even close. Yes, I know it’s a different time altogether, but, I’m sure he could have afforded Broomhilda some complexities, and maybe even made her a heroine in her own right.

There are some 4 or 5 scenes in which the she’s, shall we say, “exposed”… i.e. naked; and they felt gratuitous to me; 2 in which she’s raped by white men. When we first meet her, she’s on the auction block and asked to bare her breasts to potential buyers; later, she’s chased through a hotel, through hallways, and lobbies, etc, by a slave master, completely naked, after being woken up from sleep, with a whip across her naked body; and still later, she’s locked up naked in a steel box as punishment for trying to run away.

Well, despite the controversy of this “comedy,” Tarantino has built a respectable cast. Kerry Washington is joined by Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Don Johnson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the film is scheduled to debut at Christmas.

Just want we want during the holidays: A warm and fuzzy, blaxploitation, slavery comedy! Whoopee!


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  • Tina

    The author’s write up on this is ridiculous.

    1. The film is not a comedy, any more so than Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds. Tarantino’s genres OVERALL are revenge/violence– nothing new under the sun.

    2. So WHAT if Kerry Washington is nude? She is not doing a pornography, she’s filming a quality and artistic film (yes Tarantino’s films are regarded as cinematic art). Furthermore, you don’t think slave women were at times nude back in the day? Even moreso, raped? Get over yourselves. It’s acting. Kerry Washington is going to do what she sees fit to further her career and I trust her judgement in not viewing it as any type of Blackploitation.

    3. This movie basically is the black version of Inglorious Basterds. Tarantino wanted to make a kick ass revenge film based on the premise of “What IF black people/person rose up against evil white slave masters and got revenge…”—-if you ask me– THAT is badass. Black people have hardly even made movies about THAT. Just because HE is doing it, don’t get mad.

    4. Stop jumping to conclusions about what Kerry’s character will or will not get in terms of recognition, complexity, and accolades. Scripts are fluid and subject to change. Also– HOW you read a script is NOT how it will come out when it’s time to perform, direct and film. If you go in with a particular (biased) mindset –as the author did–when reading a script you WILL suffer from confirmation bias and believe the worse of the worse–as you all did.

    5. It is scheduled to be released CHRISTMAS 2012–not this Christmas.

    6. Basically, half the people on this post have no idea what they are talking about, overreacting, and half-way ignorant. They refuse to believe anyone non-black can tell a black story. Surprise, surprise. With the exception of Spike Lee, and maybe 2 other Black directors—- MOST other black directors/filmmakers cannot satisfactorily TELL a black story! HOP off Quentin Tarantino!

    6* Actually one can argue that Quentin Tarantino has the most prolific Black women references/motifs in MOST of his films. In one way or another he mentions them. He also grew up with African Americans.

    Has everyone also forgot about the AWESOME film ‘Jackie Brown’??

  • Everything is too up in the air to make a decision about the direction of the film. I am pretty sure this is not a comedy and I dont recall Tarantino’s other films being loaded with nudity or sex and scripts change daily. Everyone might want to wait awhile before going nuts.