- (PHOTO) REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Quentin Tarantino's latest film "Django Unchained" has become the director's top-earning film domestically this week.
Well known for films such as "Pulp Fiction," "Kill Bill," and "Reservoir Dogs," the Academy Award-winning director has achieved his greatest success with the latest action drama.
While "Django" has yet to make waves overseas, Tarantino's film earned nearly $130 million and is still counting at North American box offices since its release on Christmas Day, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Furthermore, "Django" outshined the director's 2009 hit film "Inglorious Bastards," which had earned $120 million domestically.
The feat did not arrive without controversy; the violent scenes and use of the n-word in "Django" has created a stir in the media.
A pre-Civil War film set in the Deep South, "Django" stars Jamie Foxx who portrays Django, a former slave, who kills slave-owners in the pre-Civil War Deep South in order to rescue his wife, portrayed by Kerry Washington, from a brutal plantation owner, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Many have risen to Tarantino's defense, including "Django" stars Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.
Washington referred to her role as the opportunity of a lifetime.
"I have to honor the truth of what happened here to the best of my ability," the actress told The Los Angeles Times. "One of our background actors was a pastor, and he was saying on set that we are the answer to their prayers- to the very people who walked on this land … and that's why we are here to tell their story."
"The movie is not about slavery," Jackson told The Independent U.K. "Slavery just happens to be a backdrop. Even Django is not trying to end slavery. He's just trying to get his girl back."
Alternately, Jackson's mentor and friend, director Spike Lee, said that the film was "disrespectful to my ancestors."
"All I'm going to say is that it's disrespectful to my ancestors. That's just me … I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody else," Lee told Vibe magazine.
Among the film's defenders was the director himself, who told MTV News that criticism over the n-word was "ridiculous."
"No one can actually say with a straight face that we use the word more than it was used in 1858 in Mississippi," continued the director. "So since they can't say that, what they're basically saying is I should lie. I should pretty it up. I should lie, and I don't lie when it comes to my characters and the stories I tell."
Furthermore, Tarantino maintained that his work comes before any amount of social criticism, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"Not one word of social criticism that's been leveled my way has ever changed one word of any script of any story I tell," the director told THR. "I believe in what I'm doing wholeheartedly and passionately. It's my job to ignore that."
Meanwhile, "Django" earned Christoph Waltz a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor last Sunday, while Tarantino took home the award for Best Picture.
"Django Unchained" is also up for several Oscar Awards this year.