Saturday, July 18, 2015

Slaving Away

I thought 12 Years A Slave was a pretty good picture.  Not necessarily worth of the Best Picture Oscar, but pretty good.  What was odd, though, was some defended its importance by saying it was a useful reminder of the horrors of slavery.  First, I like good films, not films that are good for you.  Second, I wasn't aware that there was a major movement afoot saying slavery wasn't so bad.

But this attitude still pops up here and there.  Look at this line from a pan at Deadline Hollywood of the new show on Broadway Amazing Grace:

The timing certainly couldn’t be better, as Americans continue to grapple with the legacy of slavery as if there were two sides to the argument.

What is critic Jeremy Gerard referring to?  Please point out to me the pro-slavery contingent, Jeremy.  Yes, there's an important debate on how to deal with the legacy of slavery, which is a very complex problem, but no one I'm aware of is suggesting a return to the practice, or claiming it was a good thing.

Perhaps Gerard likes to imagine how morally superior he is, and this illusion helps.

PS  Here's Cass Sunstein on Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind.  Now that came out in a time where apologists for the era of slavery were widespread.  He mentions Twelve Years A Slave in passing.


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