Ok, first and foremost, I am disappointed by my classmates who did not bite the bullet and admit ignorance in regards to the carpetbagger/KKK situation. Thanks guys for letting me take one for the team. In regards to this part of the movie, let me give context and say why I was confused: In the second part of the film (disk 2), Scarlet is married to Mr. Kennedy. She goes for a ride through a carpetbagger shanty town and is accosted by a white guy and a black guy. Sam, the loyal slave from Tara, saves the day and accompanies her back home. The men gather for a “political meeting” and leave with their weapons in stow. The Yankees come to arrest Ashley and the Dr. for “taking the law into their own hands.” From this I assumed that the men were “reasserting their masculinity” by protecting their women folk by attacking the Yankee carpetbaggers who had harassed Scarlet that day. Apparently I was supposed to read through the lines and subtlety to know that there was a white supremacy undertone. I felt that now that it has been laid out for me, I can see it somewhat, but by no means is it as blatantly obvious.
Overall, I can see why this film is so immensely popular. Besides the length, I enjoyed it. A few things…. 1. The blacks depicted in the film are apparently better than they would have been without the actions of the NAACP and black actors. I really don’t see how it could have been that much worse, given the black support behind Ashley to work as the KKK, Sissy’s character in general just killed me – so ignorant, so worthless, so annoying… enough said, Mammy and Sam’s unconditional loyalty… I could go on and on. 2. The villianization of the Yankees is expected… but really overdone – to a point of historical inaccuracy (ex: Sherman’s march where the damn Yankee’s burned everything in their path).
Good to know that we have no more 4 hour movies left.