The "d" in "Django Unchained" might be silent, but Quentin Tarantino's newest film is anything but. The two-hour-and-45-minute homage to Spaghetti Westerns brutally depicts conditions for slaves in pre-Civil War America. The incredibly violent film is R-rated for good reason: "Django Unchained" includes whippings, brandings, beatings, dog attacks and even threatened castration, all directed at slaves.
"We all intellectually 'know' the brutality and inhumanity of slavery," Tarantino reportedly said at a screening of "Django Unchained" in the U.K. on Thursday. "But after you do the research it's no longer intellectual any more, no longer just historical record –- you feel it in your bones. It makes you angry, and want to do something ... I'm here to tell you, that however bad things get in the movie, a lot worse sh-t actually happened."
Tarantino's film stars Jamie Foxx as the title character, a freed slave who goes searching for his wife with the help of a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz). Leonardo DiCaprio, in a character turn unlike any other he's done before, plays the villainous Calvin Candie, a plantation owner who treats his slaves with cold-hearted brutality.
"This movie is really going land heavy. It's the first Western that acknowledges slavery," Foxx told Jimmy Kimmel back in September. "In dealing with the slavery aspect of it, for black Americans -- for our education on what it is -- it's really going to land sincere."
Kerry Washington stars as Foxx's onscreen wife in the film. At one point, she's forced to take lashings from a whip, a scene that was incredibly tough for her to film.
"We've never dealt with the brutality of this part of American history in this way. And it's one thing to not even want to talk about it, but to actually have to see it -- to go there -- has been hard," she told HuffPost Entertainment.
For more from Tarantino, head over to The Guardian.
[via The Guardian]