So day before yesterday I stopped in a MASSIVE antiques store in Helen, GA (it took up all 3 floors of a huge home, described as Antebellum, and a modern extension — off to the right). What made this stop interesting, beyond the sheer size of their collection, was that at the front counter they had a large number of DVD copies of Disney’s Song of the South.
When I said to the owner, a woman, that I didn’t think they HAD released it to DVD because of how controvertial it is, she told me that they imported them from the UK (where I guess they are released). Then I mentioned how Martin Luther King himself had asked Walt Disney (himself) NOT to make the film, and if he did to PLEASE NOT show “happy singing slaves” and how Disney had ignored him on all counts, but the movie had failed at the box office because by it’s release in 1946 it was already out of step with the times …
Then, an older guy, who had overheard my comments and who stated that he was a retired cop, started talking about how they’d changed the name of the road his police station in Texas was on to Martin Luther King Drive, and how offended the cops were that they’d done it… He went on to say that the racism (push back) had just escalated from there… it was a very “interesting” conversation that would never have happened in the North.
Now in retrospect I’m thinking on it and in fact the store had IMPORTED them, and it wasn’t just one copy, it was a lot of copies… i.e., Disney might not want to release them in the the U.S., but this store owner clearly believed that there was enough demand to support the extra cost.
Oh, and before I spotted the DvD I was bemused by a relatively large collection of Sambo dolls and figurines for sale — which is something else one sometimes sees sold in other countries but rarely in the US of A.