Philosopher David Bentley Hart on Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood's Alternate History
The alternate histories of some of Tarantino's films, including Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, are a major aspect of his cinematic philosophy and an important part of what gives his films their power (see my thoughts here).
Philosopher David Bentley Hart discusses them from a moral and philosophical point of view in a recent Opinion piece in the New York Times:
"To me it seems obvious that moral sanity requires that otherworld. If it’s real, somewhere and somehow (and I’m one of those fools who wants to believe it is), then it is also the only version of this world worth loving unconditionally, and the only form of existence worth trying to make concretely actual here and now, whether through minute acts of kindness or through heroic projects of social justice."
Tarantino is obviously not the first artist to explore the power of alternate histories, but his cinematic alt-universes are particularly powerful and compelling.
Update: Regardless of your thoughts on Once Upon a Time... the movie has certainly hit the zeitgeist, sparking a lot of contemplation and analysis. Here is another NY Times article with Aisha Harris contemplating Sharon Tate's character and her role in Tarantino's alternate history. I think she arrives at similar conclusions as I did in my above referenced essay (though more directly).