RE: Re(2): [Videolib] Song of the South

Mike Tribby (mike.tribby@quality-books.com)
Fri, 28 Jan 2005 12:10:05 -0600

"I also believe the "racist aspects" of this film have been blown way out of
proportion, often by people with an abiding hatred for all things Disney"

One reason the racist aspects of Song of the South live on is because of the
demonstrations that accompanied the film's opening in some areas. As I
recall demonstrations also accompanied re-releases of the film in the '50s,
but I would certainly defer to Dennis or Jessica (and many other members of
this list) on the precise history of the film's contretemps.

I haven't seen the film in more than 40 years, but when I did, it was in a
theater in Waterloo, Iowa, where I grew up. Waterloo was a hotbed of the
civil rights movement (for Iowa...) in those days, but I don't remember any
protestors at the theatre, while I do remember other incidents around that
time that involved confronting angry demonstrators. I have seen clips from
the film in recent years, and I believe that many of the protests over the
film's real or imagined racism have to do with characterizations that are
similar to that of the crows in Dumbo, also a Disney product. I think the
film reflects a sort of institutional racism of its day, certainly no more
mean-spiritied than W.C. Fields' search for the "head Ubangi" in one of his
films, but still palpable and running through the entire film. I don't
think any film should be locked away from viewing, and that would include
Song of the South, Wonderbar with its Goin' to Heaven on a Mule sequence, or
the racist view of heaven in whatever Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland
extravaganza it is that I can't think of the title of right now. Thank
goodness I get off work in a few minutes.

As for me possibly being one of thsoe with an "abiding hatred of all things
Disney," I refer you to my massive comic book collection and the tattoo on
my left arm--more about which I can't post here for fear of Disney legal
retribution. Speaking of why people sometimes think unkind things about
Mauschwitz...

Mike Tribby
Senior Cataloger
Quality Books Inc.
The Best of America's Independent Presses

mailto:mike.tribby@quality-books.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Karen_Fischer@freenet.richland.oh.us
[mailto:Karen_Fischer@freenet.richland.oh.us]
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 9:19 AM
To: MileFilms@aol.com
Cc: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re(2): [Videolib] Song of the South

*This message was sent using a trial version of CommuniGate(tm) SMTP* *This
message was sent using a trial version of CommuniGate(tm) FC Gateway* Thank
you, Dennis, for your comments, as somone who has actually seen the film! I
also believe the "racist aspects" of this film have been blown way out of
proportion, often by people with an abiding hatred for all things Disney.
Karen Fischer AV Librarian Mansfield Richland County Public Library
Mansfield, OH

MileFilms@aol.com,internet writes:
*This message was received using a trial version of CommuniGate(tm) FC
Gateway* *This message was received using a trial version of CommuniGate(tm)
SMTP* Excuse me, but has anyone in this group actually SEEN Song of the
South
recently? I saw it a four years ago at a private screening and I was
surprised
about all the furor that surrounds it. Considering that it's actually set in

post-Civil War times with a remarkable and dignified performance by James
Baskett
that fully deserved the honorary Oscar award, I think that its actually an
important film to see and to discuss for all its merits and flaws. There are
a LOT
more rascist films in the 1930s and 1940s films (and god knows, compare it
today to all the anti-Arabic portrayals) than this one and it's a LONG way
from
being Birth of a Nation or Triumph of the Will.

The racial politics in Song of the South would make a fascinating comparison

with Gone with the Wind.

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: (800) 603-1104 or (201) 767-3117
Fax: (201) 767-3035
Email: milefilms@aol.com
Website: http://www.milestonefilms.com

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Subject: Re: [Videolib] Song of the South
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