Analysis Of Broken Blossoms And The Birth Of A Nation

Decent Essays

“D.W. Griffith was the first American director to be as well-known as the films he directed, and he was among the very first to insist that filmmaking was an art form” (Lewis 53). This statement is very true. However, the inherent discriminating content in some of his movies also made him one of the hardest to appreciate. One of the most famous examples was The Birth of a Nation (1915), which was in favor of the Ku Klux Klan. After a few more controversial movies, he finally tried to redeem his reputation with Broken Blossoms (1919). Broken Blossoms is Griffith’s attempt at an apology in the portrayal of minorities and the idea of miscegenation within The Birth of a Nation in the midst of a troubling society heading towards the anti-miscegenation law.
The Birth of a Nation is divided into two parts: The Civil War and the Reconstruction. It follows the story of two families, one from the North and the other from the South. Both go through the hardships of war and elections. Some of the most controversial ideologies in the movie include: the portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan as the savior with just minds and honorable motives and the portrayal of black people as degenerates that the whites need saving from. Broken Blossoms shows a feminine side of the Oriental man. Chinese immigrant, Cheng Huan, moves to Britain in hopes of spreading his hometown ideology of peace and harmony. He is then exposed to the harsh reality of the Western world. Lucy Burrows, daughter of the abusive

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