Noted film director Quentin Tarantino‘s latest film, The Hateful Eight, has raised a stir in civil rights circles. The film gets high marks by younger viewers. Set in the days just after the Civil War, the film highlights the interplay between a black former major in the Union War, and two former Confederate soldiers– one of them a general responsible for ordering the executions of a garrison of black military prisoners of war. The cast is star-studded, featuring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Channing Tatum, Walter Goggins, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth and Demian Bichir. It features the trademark Tarantion twists in perspective, and a craftily written script. The performances are what one might expect from actors of this caliber who are not hindered by bad writing. For the record, this one gets five stars.
The film features gross and graphic violence. Tarantino has been frequently criticized by some who suggest a link between the violence in his films and violence in real life. Tarantino bristles at the thought:
“[I]n the last 25 years, when it comes to industrial societies, hands down the most violent cinema that exists in any one country is Japan. Sometimes grotesquely so. And as we all know, they have the least violent society of all.”
Racial attitudes are addressed outside the box, and Tarantino as well as the black-brown Tarantino said it’s “about damn time” people questioned the place of the Confederate flag in the American south.
“I’ve always felt the rebel flag was some American swastika,” he said. “And well, now, all of a sudden people are talking about it, and now they’re banning it, and now it’s not OK to have it on f***ing licence plates, and coffee cups, and stuff.”
The controversial director recently accused the Chicago police department of institutional racism and said he will continue to call out “extreme acts of abuse” despite the criticism and threats of a boycott he has received from several police organizations.