Birth of a Nation film critique

1685 WordsDec 6, 20137 Pages
D. W. Griffith was raised on a Kentucky farm in Crestwood, with his father, his mother, and sister. His father was a colonel in the Confederate Army, and served Kentucky as a state legislator. His family raised him Methodist, and his sister did his schooling in a one-room schoolhouse. At the age of 10, his father died and his mother left the farm to move to Louisville, Kentucky. They struggled with poverty after that, and he eventually got into acting and filmmaking. He started off as an actor when his first screenplay was rejected. However, he started working with a production company called Biograph, and soon became the main director. However, his intentions and budget did not match up with Biograph’s ideas and motives, so he left…show more content…
When he tries to express his sexuality towards her, she brushes him off, which further enforces the idea that the free blacks are over sexualized. The biggest sense of loyalty from Mammy we see is when she tries to protect her master from union soldiers arresting him for being in the Ku Klux Klan. Gus, the Union Solider, seems to be best associated with brute and coon tendencies, which is characterized by his sexuality towards Flora. The union soldiers in general represent the brutal buck character type because they are seen as violent, uncontrollable and sexualized in the film. Gus, also has coon tendencies, however, in the way his character expresses himself. His eyes are very big and full of expression, and seem to be laughed at a lot. He is used as comic relief in addition to his role as an instigator to the Ku Klux Klan. When he comes onto Flora, he is overly sexual and aggressive towards her. He seems to be out of control as soon as the interaction starts, and ends with a chasing scene through the forest. This goes along with the Moonlight and Magnolia theme that white women are the epitome of beauty, and how frail and delicate they seem. Silas Lynch is also depicted as overly aggressive in his pursuit and proposal to Elsie Stoneman. This represents the fear of miscegenation, as well as rape. The skewed view promotes the domination of women through portrayals of white women and black soldiers. The Stoneman housekeeper, Lydia, is portrayed as a
Open Document