I'll just throw in my perspective here, as I feel it is warranted.I'll bet if Spike Lee made a documentary about Nat Turner, only a few Black people would show up to see it. Black people you need to get your priorities in order.
Personally, Ike, the reason why I went to see the film is because it was about a Black man conquering white people in an oppressive time period, and was done in a ruthless, masculine, unrepentant style that was actually entertaining and engaging.
You asked if Black people are so hard up for Black heroes that we will go support anyone who depicts us as such. For starters, Red Tails was about depicting Black people as heroes, and that movie was also directed by a White man, but I didn't go see it and didn't plan on going to go see it.
I just didn't and don't see that movie as being entertaining, nor any of the characters likable.
I definitely don't see how a movie like Django could get people upset or think there was some type of "alterior motive". It was not promoted the way Red Tails was, in that, "Well, we're finally putting a movie out showing Blacks as the heroes, so you Blacks should show your gratitude by supporting it, otherwise, there will be no reason for us to make anymore films like it" type of nonsense.
Django was just a good movie, plain and simple.
You're probably right about Spike Lee, though. If he did put out a documentary about Nat Turner, I would probably not go and see it, not because I don't support Black made films, but because I don't think it would be very engaging or joyful to watch.
I'm not really all that fond of most of Spike's movies. As someone has pointed out, he is an "average" director at being. He has talent of course, but the way he directs his films can sometimes be disengaging and too drawn out. Like I said, I've looked at some of his movies and thought to myself, "Do I really care what happens to these people?".
Malcolm X and Inside Job were his best. I didn't even like Miracle at Saint Anna's. I tried watching it, but I found it super boring and hard to watch, so I stopped like a third of the way into the film.
And that movie actually had the potential to be really good.
It's not just about the subject matter or the director being Black; it's about how the story is told. If it is not told in an engaging way, in a way where you actually give a damn about the characters and are enticed by the plot, then it will not keep my attention.
I would love nothing more than to see Black filmmakers making movies about us telling our story, but sadly, too many are not up for it. I read Black history all the time, there are literally thousands of stories about Black people that could be told, but I don't see any. Where are the movies about the Maroon warrings of Jamiaca, where they kept breaking the backs off of the British? Where is the movie about the Haitian Revolution? Where is a movie about the African-European battles in Africa prior to colonialism where there were myriad of battle that Blacks put their feet up Euro-ass?
What about the Kingdoms? What about the Conquests? What about even the Black presence in foreign lands like India, Persia, Greece, Rome, Spain etc?
There are many many stories about us that Black people could be telling but aren't.
To me, Django is the closest representation of this so far. I'm just wondering why it took a white man to do it and not a Black man.
The Book of Eli was a close second, as the beginning to the middle part was superb, but for me, the movie started to lose some of its momentum drawing towards the end, whereas Django kept its momentum throughout the film, building up steadily throughout.
So in essence, it's not just about there being a Black hero, it is like all other movies in that it depends on the story and how the story is told.