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Pick of the week: From freedom to slavery and back

I’m not sure what it tells us that “12 Years a Slave,” which is both a harrowing and realistic journey into the forbidden zone of American history and a perverse allegorical fable about the human body under capitalism and the illusion of freedom, was made by a bunch of foreigners. Maybe not that much – filmmaking, like slavery, is a global enterprise – but I guarantee you that someone, somewhere, is working on a blog post (or 20) about how this movie is a sinister Commie campaign to undermine the greatness of America. We’re already seeing the kinds of Internet comments that reflect widespread unease with the subject matter: Jeez, enough negative “black movies,” already; what’s with all the angry race-baiting; can’t we move on to the 21st century and its world of bland, post-racial clichés, and so on.

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