Sunday, 25 September 2011
Goodbye Uncle Tom (In Depth Film Review)
Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine a film which did more to make the realities of the slave-based economic system more palpable and horrifying. In refusing the audience the comforting delights of character individuation, journeys, change and anything other than economic/racial relationships, the film does constitute an effective dramaturgy for dealing with such an unmitigatingly inhuman episode in human history. In a way, a film like Amistad makes it all alright that slavery happened, because the liberal humanist Spielberg pulls out the trump card of the dignity of the human spirit, the chance for which to triumph slavery (like the holocaust) happened to offer. There is absolutely no human dignity on show in Goodbye Uncle Tom. Slavery is not a business where dignity comes into the equation. One of the film's most intriguing characters in a slave who boasts of his price in the market, his value to his masters, and the healthcare and help in old age which a good master can provide for him. He is an embelmatic proletarian historical figure...
What is on show in Goodbye Uncle Tom is a dazzling display of film-making technique. From an editing, cinematographic and staging point of view, the film is a masterpiece.