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Goodbye Uncle Tom (1971)
"Addio zio Tom" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 793 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 27 critic

Two documentary filmmakers go back in time to the pre-Civil War American South, to film the slave trade.

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Cast

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Gualtiero Jacopetti ...
Himself
Franco Prosperi ...
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Storyline

Two documentary filmmakers go back in time to the pre-Civil War American South, to film the slave trade.

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300 years of hate explode today! See more »

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Drama

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Release Date:

30 September 1971 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

White Devil: Black Hell  »

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| (Québec)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

DECAMERONE NERO's German DVD has a Super-8mm version of "Goodbye Uncle Tom", (German audio only) as a special feature on the disc. See more »

Crazy Credits

questo film e un documentario. I fatti sono storicamente avvenuti ed i personaggi sono realmente esistiti. Which translates loosely to: This film is a documentary. The facts historically have happened and the persons really exist. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Misunderstood Humanitarian Masterpiece
30 July 2003 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Many people who have claimed to see this film have not. Most of those who have seen it, have not understood. GOODBYE UNCLE TOM was directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti & Franco E. Prosperi, the two men who pioneered the documentary movement that came to be known as the "Mondo" film, a term the two dislike immensely. Hot on the heels of their controversial and still-relevant AFRICA ADDIO, it was meant to exonerate them from accusations of racism. Ironically, it would do the exact opposite. It was developed as an idea to adapt the novel "Mandingo" as an historical, documentary style drama. What emerged was a shocking, difficult-to-watch-at-times, treatise on the horrors of slavery, and the source of racism in America, if not the world, today. It was the filmmakers' intention not to pander to a politically correct theory that slaves of the 1840's had a 1970's awareness of their situation. The events are all historically correct. Many of the characters are people who actually lived. The dialogue is verbatim from true manuscripts of the day. The racism is a genuine depiction of plantation life of the day. It was felt that glossing over the African experience in America would be an insult to the pain and suffering of the millions who survived the "middle passage' only to welcome a life a slavery, no different from an animal or piece of property.

Years after it's initial release, the directors have expressed a regret at not opening the film with an explanation stating that this was a film about the emotions of that bygone era, not of the filmmakers themselves.

The controversial final scenes, which take place in contemporary America, are based on "The Confessions of Nat Turner", and are meant to represent an angry, reactionary vengeance on behalf of the millions, with whom the character identifies. Malice for sure, but not unmerited malice. This film should cause strong emotions. Any film that tackles a moral issue must cause debate and conjecture if it is to succeed. What makes the film even more extraordinary is that it succeeds without claiming a moral superiority, or taking a moral stance. What appears on screen are the most graphic, realistic depictions of the North American slave trade of the 19th century, and this film should be required viewing in Black History classes on college campuses, and high schools all over the world, particularly in America. This film preceded ROOTS by six years and stands as a much harsher indictment of the evils of human bondage. This is one of the bravest works of cinema and remains a misunderstood humanitarian masterpiece.


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