Congratulations on the movie. Why did you
want to make a movie with slavery as a theme?
Did that just come with making a Western in
I’ve always wanted to explore slavery in
a film before. But I think actually my real
reason – I’ve always wanted to explore
slavery but I guess the reason that actually
made me put pen to paper was to give black
American males a Western hero. Give them a
cool folkloric hero that could actually be
empowering and actually pay back blood for
And that’s the revenge bit. Is that essential
for making a hero?
Well in this story – well in the case of
laying waste to a genocidal white racist class
in the institution of slavery, yes, that would
be the reason to do it. As opposed to just
a historical story where this happens and
this happens and this happens and this happens
and that happens.
So you can’t be surprised by the controversy
that’s come along with it?
Well you can’t – I don’t think you can
actually make a movie about slavery in America
that is not going to be controversial.
Are you very disappointed by some of the reactions,
Spike Lee especially?
I couldn’t be happier with the reaction
to this movie, it’s been fantastic.
Its good publicity I suppose but I mean-
No no no it’s creating a nice debate, even
the people who don’t like the film. I am
responsible for people talking about slavery
in America in a way that they have not in
But you must care very deeply that this doesn’t
become a film that stands out from the rest
of your body of work, as one that is trashed
by more people or anything like that.
It’s not trashed by more people. What you
are saying is not correct.
No I’m not saying it is, I’m saying are
No no no I’m not talking about the movie
right now, you’re talking about, you know,
there is actually a dialogue going on about
slavery right now that has not been happening
at all. It’s a subject people are afraid
to talk about and now because of this movie
people aren’t afraid to talk about it. People
are talking about it. Somebody likes the movie
and they write a review on this – especially
in a world right now where you actually have
the internet where actually anybody can actually
now speak publicly, which was not the case
before. So now somebody actually writes a
review for the movie and they like it. You
read the comment section and some people who
don’t like it attack them and say their
saying. Somebody who doesn’t like the movie
writes a blog about it and the people who
like the movie hold them to task in the comment
section. That’s an actual dialogue.
Let me ask you about violence. You said, everyone
knows you make violent movies, you like violent
movies. Why do you like making violent movies?
I don’t know, it’s like asking Judd Apatow
why do you like making comedies?
You just get a kick out of it or you just
enjoy it or?
It’s a – I think it’s good cinema. I consider
it good cinema. You sit there in a movie theatre
when these cathartic violent scenes happen
and I’m talking about cathartic violent
scenes, I’m not talking about… There’s
two types of violence in this movie. There’s
the brutality of the violence in the day put
upon the slaves
The rape of the women and the-
I don’t think there’s any rape going on
in the movie. But there’s brutality to the
slaves. That hasn’t been dealt with in America
to the extent that I deal with it and I’m
showing you that there was two holocausts
in America, this is one of them. We’ve dealt
with the Indian holocaust, the holocaust of
the American-Indian in America. But we haven’t
been dealing with the holocaustic aspects,
the Auschwitzian aspects of the slave trade
in America. My movie deals with that. Then
there’s the cathartic violence of Django
paying back blood for blood.
And is that why you think people like watching
violent movies? People who are not violent
people or twisted people in any way, but why
it’s okay to go into a movie and enjoy the
Yeah, well it’s a movie. It’s a fantasy.
It’s a fantasy, it’s not real life. It’s
a fantasy, you go and you watch a Kung-Fu
movie and one guy takes on a hundred people
in a restaurant. That’s fun.
But why are you so sure there’s no link
between enjoying movie violence and enjoying
Well I’m going to tell you why I’m so
sure – Do not ask me a question like that.
I’m not biting. I refuse your question.
Because I refuse your question and I’m not
your slave and you’re not my master. You
can’t make me dance to your tune. I’m
not a monkey.
I can’t make you answer anything I’m just
asking you interesting questions.
And I’m saying I refuse.
I was just asking you why, that’s fine.
See Jamie Foxx has said “We can’t turn
our back and say that violence in films-“
Well then you should talk to Jamie Foxx about
that. And I think he’s actually here so
I’d love to, but it’s interesting that
you have a different view and I’m just trying
to explore that.
And I don’t want to. Because I’m here
to sell my movie. This is a commercial for
the movie make no mistake.
So you don’t want to talk about anything
I don’t want to talk about what you want
to talk about. I don’t want to talk about
the implications of violence. The reason I
don’t want to talk about it; because I’ve
said everything I’ve had to say about it.
If anyone cares what I have to say about it,
they can google me and they can look for twenty
years what I have to say about it. I haven’t
changed my opinion one iota.
No but you haven’t fleshed it out.
It’s not my job to flesh it out.
No it’s my job to try and ask you to.
And I’m shutting your butt down.
That’s entirely your right.
This is a commercial for my movie.
I know, but it’s my job to try and export
some serious themes as well
I invite you to explore some serious themes,
but not the themes I’ve already been on
the record for talking about.
But violence is such a big part of all of
your movies and it’s an enjoyable part of
your movies for so many people and that’s
why I’m talking about this. It’s a very
sensitive time at the moment. The Vice-President
is talking to people in the movie industry
today about violence and response-
And you know where I stand on it.
Which is that there is no relationship.
But you haven’t said why you think there
is no relationship.
It’s none of your damn business what I think
Well, it’s my job to ask you why-
And I’m saying no. And I am shutting you
But you have a responsibility as a film maker
surely to explain a little bit about what
No I don’t have any responsibility to you
to explain anything I don’t want to.
Not to me, but to your viewers, to you fans.
To people who care about what it is that you’re
They know where I’m coming from. And I have
explained it. And I have explained even what
you’re talking about it, I’m just not
giving it to you.
Because I don’t want to, because I’ve
done it already. I have explained this many
times in the last twenty years. I just refuse
to repeat myself over and over again because
you want me to. For you and your show and
It’s not about our ratings.
No it is, it’s about you want me to say
it for you, for your show, this show right
here right now.
Well look, this is a news program not a film
program so we export serious themes, that’s
But you want me to do what I’ve already
done before and I am refusing.
Fine, that’s your right. Let me also ask
you: You said in a playboy interview recently
that you thought movie directors didn’t
get better as they get older. Are you getting
better as you get older or worse?
They don’t get better when they get old.
I think I’m still in the sweet spot. Well
I hope. That’s up for everyone to decide.
I enjoy your movies. You probably wouldn’t
believe that. I was just wondering what you
think is left, you’ve done several big movies.
Let me answer your question about that. I
just feel like filmmaking directors are like
boxers. They have their time. They have their
time. Hopefully, I’m on the right side of
my time. But at a certain point a boxer loses.
And it’s all about knowing when?
It’s all about knowing when to hang up the
gloves or in my case I guess the megaphone.
Quentin Tarantino, thank you very much.