Blood sacrifice: Quentin Tarantino declaws ‘Django Unchained’ in bow to Chinese censors

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We’ve had our sport with Mr. Tarantino — who can resist? — but in his tale of implacable slave rebellion there is undeniably something broadly threatening to the interests of entrenched elites corrupted by unchecked power.

Nested within the local and historical particulars embedding “Django” in America’s pre-Civil War South is a rabble-rousing call to arms, a timeless and universal narrative of oppression, struggle and freedom. Mr. Tarantino tells the tale of a slave who, with the aid of a sympathetic foreigner, escapes bondage and turns the tables on his ruthless masters in a relentless campaign to regain his family, reclaim his liberty and punish the privileged elite of complacent oppressors who’d kept him in captivity.

If I belonged to a privileged Chinese Communist Party elite of notoriously parasitic apparatchiks dictating the terms of existence — down to fundamentals of family size and structure — to a captive population of more than a billion, I’d be in no hurry to approve that movie for wide national release. Would you?

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