"Django Unchained" director Quentin Tarantino has been living amid a storm of criticism lately. And it is well deserved. As Eric Metaxas told Mike Huckabee on the radio yesterday (you can listen here), this movie is one of the most violent movies in human history. In fact, as Eric stated, it comes across as "a celebration of violence."
I could easily get into the whole question of violence in American movies vis-a-vis the crazy (real) gun violence our nation has witnessed recently, but many others do that better than I can. There is, however, one part of the argument I can comment on. It is the part that Eric really came down on, both with Huckabee and in a recent BreakPoint radio commentary. It is this:
Thesis: Portraying graphic violence in films (fantasy) actually produces some real violence in the real world. Many people, including psychologists and others, say this is true. Many Hollywood and other film and music creatives say it is not.
Now it gets interesting. It seems that the director of this most graphically violent film got cornered by a journalist recently, who peppered him with this same line of questioning. He became quite furious. His response: “It’s a movie. It’s a fantasy. It’s not real life . . .” The journalist shot another question (sorry) at him. Response: "I refuse your question. . . . I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. You can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey. I refuse.”
Pay close attention: The movie "Django Unchained" is about a former slave's violent retribution for injustice. Though the acts of vengeance might be somewhat understandable, the violence and viciousness of the "eye for an eye" here are beyond the pale. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has called the movie "preparation for a race war." Okay, so Tarantino calls this all "fantasy" and intimates that the violence and hatred would never spill over into reality in this form. But look at what he says, as he gets enraged at the reporter: "I'm not your slave and you're not my master." Amazing. Tarantino HIMSELF is still living a part of his "fantasy." As part of his outburst, he has set a simple persistent journalist onstage and cast him as a slave master in this confrontation.
Is it a far stretch to imagine that others, also living in his movie and inspired by his images, might, in a moment of anger and passion, imagine themselves as victims and act as they saw people act in the film -- especially if there are weapons handy?
By the way, one of the weapons of choice in the film is dynamite -- still plentifully available.
(Note: we entered a correction on January 14, after listening to the audio again. Eric Metaxas actually stated "...these are two of the most violent films ever made in the history of Hollywood..."
We apologize for the misquote in the original article, which used the phrase "the most violent film")