Ok, so I admit that was just an attention grabbing headline. There’s probably a million things people will or have found to dislike about this movie, from the language to the violence to the racial issues and its treatment of slavery. But personally I liked the movie, so I’m not going to focus on any of that.
No, for me, the worst part of Django Unchained is in the very beginning. A subtitle on the very first scene reads “1858. Two years before the Civil War.” I almost choked on my popcorn. The FUCK? To be fair, my first reaction was “People need to be told when the Civil War was?”
Then I busted out the old fingers, and counted them myself. The Civil War started in April of 1861. Near as I can tell (and I’m admittedly really bad at simple arithmetic) that’s three years after 1858. I suppose if you want to get technical, if the movie opens in December of 1858 (It’s unclear what time of year it is, although the main characters end up “working through the winter” together in a later montage, so let’s be generous and say it’s definitely late 1858 by the time the movie opens) then that’s two years and four months before the Civil War would start.
But come on, colloquial usage never works like that. If the subtitle had said “1858. Two years before 1861.” People would have laughed. But since apparently nobody knows when the goddamn Civil War was, it doesn’t matter.
I don’t know, maybe Tarantino was making some kind of sly statement. Or maybe the movie takes place in an alternate universe wherein the Civil War starts a year early (that would explain the other historical inaccuracies, anyway!) But in this universe, the goddamn Civil War was fought between 1861 and 1865. Three years after 1858.