Django Unchained and the Morality of Revenge

Blood on cotton.

Note: Some plot spoilers follow.

Let me first start with the obvious: Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained is a remarkable feat, stunning both in composition and execution.  The narrative is compelling, the acting is superb, and many of the shots are stunningly beautiful.  Any fan of film – whether spaghetti westerns, coming of age narratives, action movies, or period pieces – should see this movie.  It is a tremendous visual achievement, and will no doubt be short-listed for a wide variety of Oscar categories.

That said, it is a challenging film, and one that I spent a good deal of time thinking and reading about in the day since I’ve seen it, trying to put a finger on why it is so discomfiting. Continue reading