The guide will begin with Jacqueline Stewart saying that viewing “Gone with the Wind” can be unbearable, even agonizing. She noted that however, it is significant that exemplary Hollywood movies are accessible to us in their unique and original version for viewing and further conversation around the problematic issues
HBO Max is the streaming platform owned by WarnerMedia Entertainment, a division of AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The latest decision from HBO Max is to let “Gone with the Wind” come back on the platform after a brief suspension, with a guide — which is just an introduction to the film — at the beginning giving context around the historical setting of the movie.
Jacqueline Stewart is a film educator and co-host of Turner Classic Movies. She shows up in the guide that currently goes before the film, which was released first in 1939 and remains the highest-grossing film of all time, adjusting inflation.
In the guide, Stewart says that the audiences are going to watch one of the most long-lasting and well-known movies ever made.
You are about to see one of the most enduringly popular films of all timeStewart says in the new introduction of the film
“Gone with the Wind” (1939) is an adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name. Stewart proceeds to clarify that even though the film won various acclaims and was a touchstone in cinematic history, it “was not universally praised.”
She noted that from the beginning of the movie’s creation, the film has been protested over and over many times. Also, she states that “From its prologue, the film paints the picture of the Antebellum South as a romantic, idyllic setting that’s tragically been lost to the past… The film follows the lead of Mitchell’s novel, presenting the Antebellum South as a world of grace and beauty without acknowledging the brutalities of the system of chattel slavery upon which this world is based.”
“The film represents enslaved Black people in accordance with longstanding stereotypes as servants notable for their devotion to their white masters, or for their ineptitude. And the film’s treatment of this world through a lens of nostalgia denies the horrors of slavery as well as its legacies of racial inequality.”
Stewart clarified that Black cast individuals were not permitted to go to the film’s debut in Georgia and that Hattie McDaniel — who became the first-ever African American to win an Academy Award for her performance — was not permitted to sit with her costars at the honors function.
“Watching Gone with the Wind can be uncomfortable, even painful,” Stewart says in the presentation. “Still, it is important that classic Hollywood films are available to us in their original form for viewing and discussion.”
She brought up that old motion pictures mirror the society where they were made, and welcome watchers to consider their own qualities and convictions when viewing them at present.
She expresses that great movies have been and keep on being a significant effect on famous perspectives on history. “Gone with the Wind” specifically — with its milestone creative quality, iconic movie scenes, and signature characters — has formed the route ages of watchers worldwide have imagined subjection and the recreation time frame that followed.
“80 years after its original release, Gone with the Wind is a film of undeniable cultural significance,” Stewart proceeds. “It is not only a major document of Hollywood’s racist practices of the past, but also an enduring work of popular culture that speaks directly to the racial inequalities that persist in media and society today.”
Stewart recently composed an opinion piece for CNN that viewing the film could be an instructive encounter for watchers.
“For me, this is an opportunity to think about what classic films can teach us,” Stewart wrote in the paper. “Right now, people are turning to movies for racial re-education, and the top-selling books on Amazon are about anti-racism and racial inequality. If people are really doing their homework, we may be poised to have our most informed, honest and productive national conversations yet about Black lives on screen and off.”
“Some complained that taking the film down was a form of censorship. For others, seeing Gone with the Wind featured so prominently in HBO Max’s launch felt like salt rubbed into wounds that have never been permitted to heal,” the professor composed. “These wounds are reopened with every act of anti-Black violence, every delay in justice and every failure to acknowledge the extent of Black suffering.”
She included that in any case, it is exactly a result of the progressing, excruciating examples of racial treachery and dismissal for Black carries on with that Gone with the Wind should remain available for use and stay accessible for viewing, examination, and further conversation.
According to PEOPLE, earlier this month, an HBO Max representative announced to them that “Gone With The Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society.”
“These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible,” the statement added.
HBO Max has not altered the film to take out its racist content, the announcement stated the reason is that revising it “would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.”
“In the event that we are to make an all the more simply, evenhanded and comprehensive future, we should initially recognize and comprehend our history,” the announcement closed.
Gone with the Wind is currently airing on the streaming platform, HBO Max.
(Featured Image Source: The poster from one of the releases of the film “Gone with the Wind”)