The Oscar-winning film "Gone With the Wind" returned to HBO Max's streaming library on Wednesday with a new introduction highlighting the film’s problematic portrayal of slavery.
The 1939 film depicts life at a pre-Civil War plantation and tells the story of Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh), the plantation owner's daughter. Despite winning eight Oscars, and Hattie McDaniel making history by becoming the first black actress to win an Oscar, its depiction of the Antebellum South has long received criticism.
Jacqueline Stewart, host of “Silent Sunday Nights” and a professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, put together a four-and-a-half minute prologue that now runs at the beginning of the classic film unpacking the inherent racism found in the film and how it plays into the culture of the time.
In her introduction, Stewart says that “Gone With the Wind” was “not universally praised.” She notes that its presentation of Antebellum South was only painted as a “world of grace and beauty, without acknowledging the brutalities of the system of chattel slavery upon which this world is based.”
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