Goodbye Uncle Tom (Farewell Uncle Tom) (Addio Zio Tom) (1971) Review

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Italian Roots

Goodbye Uncle Tom (Farewell Uncle Tom) (Addio Zio Tom) (1971): 7 out of 10: Well they don’t make them like this anymore and let us face it they never really did. This is really three separate films brought together in a blender set on random. The first film is a highly effective expose on slave treatment and the slave trade in the old south (the slave ship scenes blows Hollywood fare like Amistad out of the water). Using a cast of thousands and exposing practices such as selective breeding that is politely not discussed on American shores (just ask Jimmy the Greek) it is one of the most realistic displays of 18th and 19th-century slave life ever shown on film. 

Then there is a second film which is a dated, and looking back rather silly collection, of news footage from the late sixties and early seventies that documents race riots with all the participants speaking in Italian creating an almost Woody Allen feel to the dub (It gives What’s up Tiger Lily a run for its money complete with ragtime music cementing the silliness of what should be serious proceedings.) 

Okay, I confess this is from !Women Art Revolution  not this move

The last movie is a sexploitation film dealing largely with Mandingo fantasies and containing a copious amount of child porn. (I guess National Geographic rules apply when showing thirteen-year-old black children naked). Tasteful does not enter the conversation. Political correctness is shattered so badly one must feel for those sensitive souls that can’t laugh at the ridiculousness of the manipulation.

This scene is a dramatization of a scene from the film.

Making matters worse the three films are intertwined together seemingly at random with comic buffoonery breaking out during serious scenes (A slave auction is apt to turn into a Benny Hill episode for no clear reason) and poorly done black revenge fantasies coming, narratively at least, out of nowhere. Anti-white, anti-black, and for the sake of inclusion anti-Semitic, they once again don’t make them like this anymore. (It’s probably highly illegal for one thing.) 

Overlong by at least an hour and poorly thought out in places Addio Zio Tom wears out its welcome but for a short while at least it exposes its truth and makes one think.

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