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‘Gone With the Wind’ Revisited (Front Page Mag)


‘Gone With the Wind’ Revisited – By Danusha Goska (Front Page Mag) / April 19, 2024

A flawed but universal work of art misunderstood by elite book burners.

On April 7, I attended an eighty-fifth anniversary theatrical showing of Gone with the Wind. In recent weeks, I’ve been through an earthquake, seen a solar eclipse, and spent hours in church for Easter. Even so, watching GWTW for the fifth time in a theater was a religious experience.

Manohla Dargis, the New York Times chief film critic, interrupts her April 12 review of a new movie to restate her righteous indignation against an unrelated film. Gone with the Wind, she insists, is a “monument to white supremacy and the myth of the Southern Lost Cause.”

Yes, both the book and the film are racist. No, GWTW’s racism is not the works’ alpha and omega. And, no, GWTW is not the only flawed work of art. Have you heard any rap lyrics lately? Rather, GWTW addresses universal themes. Audiences from diverse ethnicities and social classes recognize these themes and even just the film’s soundtrack reduces listeners to tears. GWTW brings the power of myth to a universal experience: growing up, leaving childhood innocence, and entering a world that isn’t invested in your survival, and that can engineer relentless freight trains full of misery and steer them right at you. It’s about who survives the collision, how, and why, and at what cost. “Hardships make or break people,” as Rhett Butler says.

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