There are moments in the courtroom drama Just Mercy that resonate deeply not for how loud and abrasive they are, but in its quiet depiction of how racism shapes expectation and human behavior. When Johnny D comes upon a fateful police blockade and knows to place open palms on the steering wheel, or when attorney Bryan Stevenson is unlawfully pulled over, the approaching patrolman already brandishing his sidearm. Both Johnny D and Mr. Stevenson are subjected to such treatment for no reason other than they’re Black. They have no choice but to comply; they endure. Continue reading
Slavery is bad. We all know that. And yet, America still chooses to overlook its barbaric past in favor of a future rich with culture and diversity. But how can you ignore something as inherently evil as genocide? How do you justify the severe mistreatment of an entire race? Quentin Tarantino’s new film, Django Unchained, chooses not to answer these questions. Instead it asks “why didn’t anyone think slavery was bad?” Set in a hateful world that’s oblivious to its own hatred, Django embraces the sadistic nature of its characters and explores the cruel morality of our world. And it does so with such an explosive style that it’s damn near impossible to turn away. Though it does become overtly excessive and self-indulgent along the way, the film is injected with more than enough violence and humor to transform its touchy subject into a wildly entertaining feature. This is history re-examined and re-told through Tarantino, and it is a bloody good time at the movies.