Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Goodbye Uncle Tom (1971)
he story goes that when this played Times Square it caused a riot. I have no idea if its true or not, but if it did happen I can see why.
The film is an examination of race relations that focuses on slavery. As an indictment of the institution of slavery this film can not be topped. This is a nightmarish look at what slave mills must have been like almost 200 years ago.
The film exists in two versions that are very different, and if you ever wanted to see how one film could end up as two different films, look no farther than this film (both versions are in the Mondo Cane box set)
Both films contain much of the same footage cut for different effect.The original Italian cut deals more heavily with race relations now, while the American version deals more with the slavery aspect. The final moments of both versions makes more sense in context of the Italian version since in the final moments we see that in many ways things have not gotten all that much better for the black race. Both films also have a good amount of footage unique to that version. I doubt seriously that the footage could be combined to make one super film since you'd end up with a third film with a third point of view.
I like both versions of the film. I think that right or wrong this is a film that will get you talking and thinking and wondering, which is what the film is suppose to do. I can't say that one is better than the other, both are flawed, however both should be seen, preferably with in a day or so of each other since the duel versions play off each other in unexpected ways.
See these films., But be prepared to get angry. You may not get through them, you may not like them, but you will be provoked into a reaction on some level. For better or worse you will be challenged and moved which is what the point of the film is.