Controversial Minority Representation in the Film, Birth Of a Nation

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Controversial Minority Representation in the Film, Birth Of a Nation

Birth of a Nation was a film that broke several artistic boundaries in the film industry yet was seen as the most racist film of any generation. This has caused it to be a film under heavy debate since its release in 1915. One can never look past the racist depictions that this film portrays in it. However, to truly understand the film and explore its importance in the study of minorities in film, one must look at this film from all perspectives.

D.W. Griffith grew up in Kentucky under a father who was a Confederate hero and was the first to place the racial views in his head. Here is where the ideals of blacks and whites were created for D.W. Griffith.
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I am sure that there was a section of the population that was appalled by the depictions I this film, but not nearly enough to make it seem like a racist film for that time period. Sad but true this is how a lot of the Nation felt during the time of the release. That is what makes this film so unfortunate for the African-American community. It may be extremely racist, but when put in context of time and where America was, it can still be propaganda of truth for many ignorant white Americans today. You combine that with the numerous film technologies and breakthroughs that came from this film, and it will always be seen as a masterpiece despite its racist overtones leaving no retribution for African-Americans and the way they were represented. That leads into its context and today. I feel that there is no way that this film could be made a talkie today. The overabundant racist depictions and the rise of a KKK that is known for its bigotry and hate towards any one who is not a WASP would not be allowed in a culture today that is trying its hardest to head towards a more equal Nation and World. There are too many groups that would not stand for this kind of racism. The way that the mulatto helper of Stoneman is seen as a lusting, sexual object that obsesses over her white suppressor would never be tolerated. Black Supremacy trying to wipe out the whites in the South, black men as sexual

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