Boots Riley is once again speaking out against cultural inconsistencies in film. This time, he's targeting Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood for not dealing with the Manson Family's white supremacist ideologies.
Riley's animus with the film made him return to Twitter after a three month long hiatus. He tweeted that the film, which Riley wrote depicted the Manson Family as liberal hippies, didn't grapple with the cult's racist, violent views in real life.
"The Manson Family were overt white supremacists who tried to start a race war with the goal of killing [B]lack folks," he wrote. "They weren't 'hippies' spouting left critiques of media. They were rightwingers. This fact flips Tarantino's allegory on its head."
Re Once Upon A Time In Hollywood:
The Manson Family were overt White Supremacists who tried to start a race war w the goal of killing Black folks.
They werent "hippies" spouting left critiques of media. They were rightwingers.
This fact flips Tarantino's allegory on its head.
— Boots Riley (@BootsRiley) August 24, 2019
Riley further clarified his stance with an exclusive statement to IndieWire, writing that he's not asking for a "historically accurate" film, but a film that properly reckoned with the reality of the Manson Family's philosophies.
"I'm not saying it has to be historically accurate, just that the difference changes the actual meaning of the film. Like when cowboy Cliff Booth met them and heard the Manson Family talking about 'the [n******] are savages, and are gonna take over' he might have felt a kinship."
He went on to say that he loves Tarantino's work and "usually go to see his movies about twice each right off the bat, with more viewings later." He also corrected one of his earlier tweets.
"One correction is that I said they wanted a race war in order to kill [B]lack people, but they actually wanted it to end with [B]lack people to be enslaved by them," he wrote. "The couple things that they said to sound 'counterculture' was said while they were on trial and using that to gain sympathy. The weathermen said stuff in support of them while they were on trial, which they clarified as being sarcastic and taken out of the context which would have shown them as sarcastic."
"...Manson was hanging out with Republicans like the Beach Boys and racists like the Hells Angels--that was not at all the left," he continued. "But again, the question is really about what the difference in meaning the story has with those facts."
Riley's penchant for calling out period films isn't new; when BlacKkKlansman was in theaters in 2018, Riley blasted the film for being, in his opinion, "a made-up story in which the false parts of it...try to make a cop the protagonist in the fight against racist oppression."
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