After getting shelved for a temporary two-weeks period, 1939 Oscar-winning film ‘Gone With the Wind’ is back on the racks of HBO Max, but this time with two new additions: A four-minute introduction to the film and a panel discussion recording that discussed the movie at the Turner Classic Movie (TCM) festival, 2019.
Two weeks ago, in the light of the recent Black Lives Movement taking the world by storm, and the public outrage against police brutality, the 1939 classic was pulled down from the shelves of HBO Max due to its cultural commentary that involved racial undertones.
However, while taking Gone With the Wind down, HBO had stated that they would bring it back with a sensitised discourse that will throw light on the historical context. Even after 80 years of release and cinematic acclaim, the film’s cultural significance has remained unchanged through the tides of times.
Gone With the Wind, which won 8 Academy Awards in 1940, is based on American writer Margaret Mitchell’s novel that goes by the same name. Set against the backdrop of American civil war and the period of reconstruction, the story revolves around Scarlett O’Hara, daughter of a plantation owner, Ashley Wilkes, a pacifist aristocrat and their brewing romance.
Hattie McDaniel, who played the maid in Gone With the Wind, was the first African-American actor to win an Oscar. In fact, due to the prevailing racial protocols of that time, she had to sit separately at the function, separated from her white co-actors.
In the wake of police brutality and worldwide protests, the entire digital streaming community has come out in support and has voiced out their stand in identifying racism. Striking down potentially insensitive content and curating black stories that bring out and attempt to drive a change against racial prejudices are some of the internal stances that the platforms have taken to show their solidarity towards the movement.