Wednesday, 15 April 2009
GOODBYE UNCLE TOM
Goodbye Uncle Tom (Italian: Addio Zio Tom) is a 1971 Italian film directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi and features music by Riz Ortolani.
Addio Zio Tom is a pseudo documentary where the filmmakers go back in time and visit antebellum America, using period documents to examine, in graphic detail, the racist ideology and degrading conditions faced by Africans under slavery. Because of the use of published documents and materials from the public record, with actors playing the role of the historical figures, the film labels itself a documentary, and portrays slave life as a non-stop orgy of violence, rape and torture committed by Whites against their Black slaves.
The Directors' cut of Addio Zio Tom draws parallels between the horrors and slavery and the rise of the Black Power Movement, represented by Eldridge Cleaver, LeRoi Jones, Stokely Carmichael, and a few others. The film ends with an unidentified man's fantasy re-enactment of William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner. This man imagines Nat Turner's revolt in the present, including the brutal murder of the whites around him, who replace the figures Turner talks about in Styron's novel as the unidentified reader speculates about Turner's motivations and ultimate efficacy in changing the conditions he rebelled against. American distributors felt that such scenes were too incendiary, and forced Jacopetti and Prosperi to remove more than thirteen minutes of footage explicitly concerned with racial politics for American and other Anglophone audiences.