Harry Reid brought up Django Unchained at a ceremony to unveil a statue for Rosa Parks in the Capitol today:
"A hundred years after Rosa Parks was born, more than a half a century after she sparked the Civil Rights Movement, the United States is still striving to ensure every American is not only created equal by God but treated equally in the world," said Reid. "As America shapes its future, struggles with its past--a past in which equality was our principle, but not always our practice. Two of the best motion pictures this year were nominated for Academy Awards, Lincoln and Django Unchanged, offered cinematic tributes of the legacy of our nation’s darkest institution--slavery. One film presents an unvarnished view of the evils of slavery; the other depicts our difficult journey to end slavery. "
Reid was joined at the Capitol by President Barack Obama and others today.
Like Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino has now made an American slavery film to go with his Holocaust film (Inglourious Basterds, 2009)—and like Spielberg, he secured Best Picture nominations for both of his epic journeys into shameful human history. But while Spielberg treats his topics with terrified reverence, Tarantino does not. Quite the opposite. Their grand themes are deployed almost exclusively to provide shock value.