I’ve had an awesome Thanksgiving Holiday. One of the things that I had a chance to do was catch up on movies. I watched Jonah Hex. I originally wanted to see the movie because who wouldn’t want to see a haunted cowboy? Secretly, I love a good cowboy flick. I always loved John Wayne. What kept me questioning, though, was the fact that Jonah wore this beat-up, worn out Confederate uniform, years after the Civil War ended.
The movie, of course, is filled with these tragic race questions. The fact that Jonah was a Confederate traitor and was married to a Native American woman is one. The Native Americans in the story continue to ressurect him to avenge the murder of his Native American wife and his bi-racial son. Jonah walks the world of life and death followed by crows. He can resurrect the dead to get information but he’s not a part of the world. His vengeance keeps him from being able to form real relationships.
As a disfigured white male who was a traitor to his “own kind”, I see Jonah as a true tragic racial hero. The fact that the ressurected white male wears the Confederate Uniform shows the demise of the Confederate mindset. Jonah’s existence is pitiful and painful. This movie is dripping with controversial images and sends a powerful message about race/culture. In fact, I really liked the use of the dead symbols as a way to show our progress. Jonah Hex then is a paranormal steampunk cowboy story that drips with the politics of race and racism. Now, that’s the way to spend the holiday!
Any thoughts about Jonah Hex? I’d love to hear them.