Race remains one of the most taboo subjects in America. Our idea of living in a post-racial country is sweeping the issue under the rug, so I'm thrilled Hollywood has churned out two movies that open up a dialogue about the country's original sin, slavery. This thanksgiving there was Steven Spielberg's Lincoln which depicts the 16th President's fight to end slavery legislatively and next month there's Quentin Tarantino's Spaghetti-Western/Blaxploitation film Django Unchained.
It stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington with a bevy of fun cameos like Jonah Hill and Don Johnson.
As someone who believes Pam Grier delivered one of the most entertaining female leads in movie history in 1973's Coffy, I am super-excited about the comedic possibilities with these characters.
Anyone who watched Inglorious Basterds knows Tarantino does not shy away from incendiary dialogue to placate today's politically correct sensitivities. Tarantino has made a film about slavery; he's going to lay bare the ugliness and inhumanity of the era, but he is also going to give us an opportunity to laugh about it and appreciate how far we've come. There is an inherent tension that comes with undiscussed differences in experience and acknowledging those differences makes our cross generational, cross racial relationship more secure and boosts mutual understanding and respect.
Please go see this next month, you'll be glad you did.