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TINTIN BY HERGE: POLITICALLY INCORRECT?

November 3, 2011
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Last Saturday was premiered in Brussels Steven Spielberg’s  last film  “The adventures of Tintin ” where Georges Prosper Remi was born, better known as Hergé, Tintin’s creator. The official movie site is http://www.us.movie.tintin.com/

At the world premiere, the director says he never gave up on the project despite taking 28 years to complete it. Hergé said 30 years ago that Spielberg was the only man to bring it to the big screen.  And now, with the help of the Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, he has done exactly that.

However, Tintin has been a controversial cartoon character. He is the affable Belgian reporter who goes around the world on adventures and often returns with interesting stories. Made in the early 1930s and 1940s, the great majority of the criticism toTintin has come up only during recent times. Some people accused Tintin of being anticommunist, based on the story of “Tintin in the Land of the soviets” . Others considered him a racist based on the series called, “Tintin in Congo”, when he openly puts down the natives.  Hergé, later apologized that he was affected by the colonialist context he was in.

Last September  started a civil process against “Tintin in Congo” at the Palace of Justice in Brussels. The court told that “Tintin in Congo” is paternalistic, not racist. The judge said she would issue a final ruling by mid-February next year.

If you want to know more about it I advise you to see a 2003 documentary  called “Tintin and I” by Anders Høgsbro Østergaard, about Hergé.

In any case, if you are a fan of Tintin I recommend you to visit the Hergé Museum, a spectacular museum located in the Belgian town of Louvain-la-Neuve.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Eugenia Ferrer Perez permalink
    November 3, 2011 8:29 pm

    I don´t understand why Tintin is a controversial cartoon character; In my opinion is just that, a comic character and its adventures were created to entertain adults and children but always in its context.
    Of course nowadays a cartoon in which were expressed those kind of ideas it would be political incorrect but the general mentality 80 years ago was different and we should´nt judge Hergé for his old-fashioned ideas.
    I used to read Tintin when I was a child and it seemed to me funny and entertaining and that was all.

  2. Xelo permalink
    November 4, 2011 12:12 am

    I agree with you Eugenia. Last September I was in Belgium and watching television I knew about the story of the Tintin in the court. I was surprised because of the time passed and the context of the story of Tintin in Congo. But, on the other hand, I can understand the rage of the Congolese when I remember the barbarity that the King Leopold II committed in Congo at the end of 19th century. Hundreds of thousands of Africans were put to work as porters to carry the white men’s goods, as cutters of the wood needed to fire steamboat boilers, and as laborers of all kinds. In the early years the main commodity Leopold sought was ivory. Joseph Conrad, who spent six months in the Congo in 1890, draws a memorable portrait of this rapacious trade in his novel Heart of Darkness. Moreover, in this period population diminishes drastically due to disease, famine or slave labor, among other things. Consequently, it was considered a genocide.

  3. cochando permalink
    November 4, 2011 1:22 am

    As it happens, last Sunday I went to see the film with my daughter and I can tell you that we had a very good time. I had no idea about this mess, I´ve just found out and I´m really sorry. Anyway, I think the film is worth seeing no matter the undercurrent of tension.

  4. marisadedios permalink*
    November 8, 2011 6:01 pm

    Thanks for post Xelo. I must say I was never too keen on Tintin, but I did read a few of the comics as a child and enjoyed them.

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