Tarantino 'Unchained,' Part 3: White Saviors
In the last of a Q&A series, the director rejects the idea that Django fits into that old Hollywood trope.
And like a character through Negro folklore, he has to get out of his predicament solely through cunning and guile. And then he has to make the choice to go back yet again. Anything else and he's not the hero of the story.
HLG: So that's why you sacrificed King Schultz.
QT: He had to pass on for Django to truly take the torch. And there's another narrative thing going on as well. Just the way Django probably feels about it, a little bit to some degree, the audience feels that I have shown two big sequences where Schultz has painted his way into a corner that there's no way he can get out of, and then he talks his way out. So we have two set pieces setting this up, and now we have a big third one. And by this time, the audience should actually feel that Schultz can handle anything.
HLG: But Schultz makes the decision to sacrifice himself. He's won [against Candie]. They've given [Candie] $12,000 ransom money. He's going to shake hands -- I mean, being humiliated, but hell, he can get over that. But he decided, "F--k you, I'm going to blow you away."
QT: Right. Well, you know, there are a few different reasons, and I don't want to spill it all out because I'm hoping that the audience will come up with some of their own of why Schultz does what he does. I actually think one of the definite reasons, though, is he had to put on this facade in dealing with this inhuman depravity that he's witnessing. Now that he's on the other side of it, it's all raining down on him.
HLG: He's haunted by these memories.
QT: What he was working hard not to allow himself to feel is now permeating him. But something else is also permeating him. I think he's actually realizing inadvertently he caused D'Artagnan's [a captured runaway slave who was torn apart by Candie's dogs] death.
Where I'm coming from is, I don't think Candie would have actually killed D'Artagnan in that situation, just for running away at that moment -- not that he couldn't have done it another time with somebody else. But just where it was leading, where it was going, he would have punished him, but he wouldn't have sicced the dogs on him at that moment. That doesn't make him nice -- I'm just saying it wasn't his plan to just destroy him at that moment.
HLG: So why did he destroy him at that moment?