The story wasn’t quite as stupid as the headline led me to expect (i.e. a bold anti-slavery stance at the safe remove of more than a century—it seemed unlikely that even Tarantino would argue his spaghetti-western-vengeance costume drama had much to say about current forms of slavery).
That said, Tarantino’s actual statements do strike me as either poorly explained, or disingenuous self-promotion, or just sort of willfully ignorant. My guess is he really meant to say that very few film narratives directly depict the experience of slavery. Movies that address American slavery as a subject most often depict the Civil War and, to a lesser degree, the Middle Passage or the immediate aftermath of Emancipation. Movies that acknowledge slavery as an ongoing American institution usually relegate the slaves to the background or otherwise filter the facts of slavery through the white perspective, rather than depict the African American experience. But the reasons for this aren’t mysterious at all; filmmakers struggle to push any films about the African American experience through the studio system, let alone potentially pricey period pieces. In Hollywood, the decks are stacked against African American subject matter.
With all that in mind, I am not surprised that there is no major movie about Nat Turner, but am a little surprised that the raid on Harpers Ferry has been neglected.