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A slave to violence

Why can't Quentin Tarantino's characters speak for themselves?

By James McAuley  

Jamie Foxx as Django and Leonardo Dicaprio as in "Django Unchained" (Columbia Pictures)

The trouble with Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s latest flight of violent fantasy, is that it’s never quite clear how seriously to take it. As Tarantino told the Daily Telegraph six years ago: “I want to do movies that deal with America’s horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like spaghetti westerns, not like big issue movies.”

Django Unchained is exactly such a film, and the dissonance between…

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