‘Gone with the Wind’ returns to HBO Max with commentary on brutality of slavery

The film “presents the antebellum South as a world of grace and beauty without acknowledging the brutality of chattel slavery upon which this world was based,” TCM host and film scholar Jacqueline Stewart says in the introduction.

“Eighty years after its initial release, ‘Gone with the Wind’ is a film of undeniable cultural significance. It is not only a major document of Hollywood’s racist practices of the past but also an enduring work of popular culture that speaks directly to the racial inequalities that persist in media and society today,” Stewart added.

Stewart recalled that the film won eight Academy Awards, including best picture, and set a milestone when supporting actress Hattie McDaniel, who played a maid, became the first African-American actor to win an Oscar.

She also noted that at the Oscar ceremony McDaniel had to sit at a dining table far besides her white cast members because of racial protocols at the time.

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