Lincoln vs. Django



Though I was lukewarm about the film, you've got to be impressed with the way Spielberg's "Lincoln" uncannily mirrors the political situation today.Two warring parties, a lame duck congress, incendiary issues - the Constitutional amendment franchising the former slaves versus a compromise to avoid a fiscal cliff - and presidents who have presided over four years of national calamity.

The parallels are so strong that Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (of making Obama a one term president fame) have sent a joint letter to their colleagues inviting them to a special screening  of the film on December 19. It will be followed by a Q & A with Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis.

How can it fail? Anyway, good luck to them. I fear, though, that many of our elected representatives will be taking the "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" approach


to resolving things as opposed to the tiresome, painstaking, no-fun Lincoln-esque tactics of compromise.

Another role model might be the hero of "Django Unchained," which opens Friday. As far as I know, no congressmen have been invited to a special screening of this film followed by a Q & A with Quentin Tarantino.

Nonetheless, one point of interest is how the two films bookend the Civil War, with "Django" taking place in 1858 before the war started, while "Lincoln" is set in 1865 as the war nears its end. In "Django" the ex-slave of the title solves the problem of involuntarily servitude by killing everybody


-- it's a historical revisionist scenario like "Inglorious Basterds" that, if followed to its logical conclusion (and the film calls out for sequels), would obviate the need for a Civil War, since all the slave holders would be pretty much dead.

This is the kill-everybody-on-the-other-side approach and I must say that on the screen it is immensely satisfying. So maybe it would be a good idea to show "Django" to the leaders debating our country's future -- it might purge all their aggression and inflexibility and allow them to adopt the wisdom and civility of Abraham Lincoln.

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