Yes, I have seen the film. Australian TV was actually showing it for quite some time on the Disney Channel in the last few years, when they were less uptight about appeasing the Disney Mothership, although I'm sure word has come down from on high to stop.
But you actually help my point. SotS is not about slavery, we are both agreed on that. There is some debate as to the time frame of the story, but the wrap-around segment is considered racially insensitive because of the stereotypical 'Uncle Tom' depiction of Uncle Remus. The NAACP decried the film because of the perpetuation of the stereotypical 'idyllic master-slave relationship,' and the NAACP is right in doing so.
I'm sorry, but with all due respect that is a stretch of a comparison. While I tend to agree that perpetuating a racist stereotype is just as bad as a terrorist attack - after all, it is racist stereotypes on both sides that have perpetuated this war of terror in the first place - it is all about context. When World Trade Centre and United 93 came out in the cinema, people were already crying that it was 'too soon' and insensitive. I maintain that it was. However, members of the victims families approved the films, both films shared their own measure of success and Paul Greengrass was even nominated for best director at the Academy Awards this year for United 93.Originally Posted by soulquarian
Now, I didn't necessarily say I supported the method of delivery - after all, I did put on my Devil's Advocate hat to make the point if you go back and read my original post - but you know this is exactly the kind of thing Disney would do if they ever decided to release the film. They'd stick it on a special edition; contextualise the film with an intro by James Earl Jones (already having a Disney connection) and sell millions of copies. It may never happen, but you know the eyes of Disney marketing are already lit up with dollar signs and have anticipated every possible release of the film.
We live in an age where films like Norbit - which in my humble opinion perpetuate "African American stereotypes" just as badly as SotS ever did - yet make money at the box office. After all, how many films use the 'sassy black woman who men are intimidated by because they can't handle "all that"'? Hip-hop records sell millions, and the majority of mainstream hip-hop perpetuates the 'pimps and hos' image of the community, and is additionally sexist towards women by objectifying them.
In my mind, releasing a copy of SotS within the proper context is less damaging than these other activities. As we are doing everything we can to forget the past, by pretending the film never happened, we are forgetting a part of what was negative about our attitudes of the past. Forgetting our mistakes and covering them up is just as bad as glorifying the negative attitudes of a few misguided individuals. Regardless of the racist depictions in the film - and yes, I do believe that the depictions of Uncle Remus probably fall within the racist category - the film is an historical document of the Disney studios as well as being a technically great piece of art. Like my comparison with Birth of a Nation, even if we disagree with its politics, we can still appreciate the technical artistry of the film.