Juneteenth Double Feature
Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. This occurred two and a half years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which was official on January 1, 1863. Due to minimal infantry to enforce the new executive order, slavery remained unfazed in the south, Texas especially. You can chalk it up to strong southern stubbornness or, well...Texas being Texas, but it wasn't until the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865 and the arrival of a fresh regiment of Union troops that the Emancipation Proclamation could be enforced.
We're celebrating this profoundly historic day with a double feature -- Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave and Tarantino's Django Unchained.
We begin the double feature with McQueen's 12 Years A Slave. In the harrowing epic, Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, who is abducted and sold into slavery. He faces unrelenting cruelty, fighting to not only stay alive, but keep his dignity intact as well. Based on a true story and portrayed with brutal honesty by McQueen, it will touch you and disgust you. Most importantly, the film reminds you of the most unforgivable, heinous, despicable time periods in American history, which we should never relive again.
We follow up the sobering first feature with some triumph and revenge. Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino to the nth degree. The blood spatter of the white slave master against the cotton. The concept of an ex-slave bounty hunting plantation and slave owners. Sam Jackson as the most despicable character that has ever graced cinema. Longwinded shootouts of saturated carnage and viscera. Django will have you riding on high and saying:
How are you celebrating Juneteenth? Is there a better double feature combo? We want to know. Share your thoughts and feeling in the comments section below, and, as always, remember to viddy well.