1858 was the height of slavery, an Institution matured and perfected by time and practice. It was a way of life and the relationship of the slave and slave owner was complicated and complex at best. For sure this was great fiction story telling at its best with some intense and funny historical moments.
So how do I review this movie without giving away the full plot? Hummm, so in a nut shell Jamie Foxx is a slave, rescued to help a bounty hunter find three criminals that he can identify (former slave overseers at his former plantation) When I tell you he was magnificent, I mean it. I fell in love with Jamie and started following him on a twitter and I follow almost no stars. LOL
For sure Jamie was a slave with the spirit of free man, as was he wife Bloomhilder, portrayed by Kerri Washington! She didn't have a lot of speaking parts, but every move she made was significant for her role as slave woman sold away from her man. This was a great historical truth! On many plantations marriage was not allowed and on those that were, the couples were separated at the drop of pin both as a way of punishment and other times because the owner needed quick cash.
DiCaprio character was brilliant and so was his head slave Stephen portrayed by Samuel Jackson. By the way, their relationship was yet again another complex, hard to watch but historical truth. Don Johnson portrays yet again another cunning slave owner.
Ok, so now that you have all of the main characters, here are some historical truths. Hot Boxes existed, blacks were called niggers, white people were not use to seeing a black man doing, "normal" things that whites did in the South like riding a horse, there were house slaves who had the best interest of the slave master, even at the expense of other slaves, not every white person supported slavery, most common among Europeans, who were themselves discriminated against, slave families were separated, there were brothels ran by slave owners, Mandigo fighting was apart of the Southern Culture, slaves did runaway over and over again, slaves were rented out to mine companies for cheap labor, ummm the list goes on and on. The fact is, this was a action packed fiction movie, set in the backdrop of the height of slavery. I think it was a brilliant script.
tweeted one day that Dr. King would turn over in his grave with our use of the world.. Ummm so when he (Dr. King) referred to Andrew Young as his, "Little Nigger," I wonder his context?
Well whether we like it or not, the use of the word nigger was actuate, historical writing. Blacks called each other nigger and for sure that's how whites referred to most blacks in common everyday conversation. A black person was not seen as human, well not like white people were human. Calvin Cotton makes that point very well. White people of that era actually believed Cotton's analogy of submissive behavior. They needed to believe it, otherwise they had to address the hardcore moral and ethical dilemma of slavery.