“Gone with the Wind” film adaptation is a double-edged sword

In 1939, a 16-year-old and her best friend ditched school and headed to the movie theater. They cut class to see the newest film “Gone with the Wind.”  They weren’t the only ones to cut class as they also saw their principal seeing the same film. Eighty years later, that 16-year-old’s great-granddaughter goes to see the same film.  However, does it still hold up, and is it ditching class worthy?

Going into this film, I had no idea what to expect. So when the movie started right before the Civil War with a Confederate protagonist and an anti-Yankee point of view, I was surprised. With a Confederate point of view, it showed slavery as a good thing.  All the characters who were enslaved seemed to truly like their position. They seemed to have thought that slavery was where they belonged. All the slaves in the movie also seemed to portray a caricature of their real counterparts. No one seemed to care about this fact as almost 99 percent of the audience was white. In fact, a lot of the audience saw these caricatures as cute and charming instead of racist satire.

Another very prominent aspect of the movie was the protagonist, Scarlett, going back and forth between misogyny and feminism. Throughout the film the audience can see her protect herself, control her own property, start her own business, and use the men in her life to bring herself up. However, for every scene where she is strong and independent, there is a scene where she is saved by a man, or where she and other female characters are nothing without their male counterparts. Though at the end of the film, Scarlett seems to realize that she doesn’t need a man, she just needs a home. That may be why a lot of women do seem to like this film as nearly 75 percent of the audience were women.

The last thing to consider about this movie is the length. This movie is much, much longer than modern films. The movie lasts almost four hours with a ten minute intermission, which is barely enough time for a bathroom break. The movie can feel longer since it is also slower than a lot of modern films and spans a great deal of time.

All in all, does this film hold up?  The racism and sexism seen throughout the film can make a lot of modern audiences squirm in their seats a little. This is a good movie if it is watched as a historical piece, to see how people thought during this time, and to see the cinematography of that time. If it were to be released today as a new movie, I don’t think it would do too well. This is possibly why there were  exactly four people under the age of 30, including myself, watching this film. Overall, it does not hold up to well, nor is it ditching class worthy.

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