Birth of a Nation uses its histrionic plot to show how tangled destinies of a southern and northern family before and after the Civil War. It willingly portrays southern blacks as spiteful and uncivil, the northern whites as crafty, dishonest, and conceited, and the film’s southern whites as anguish recurrent radical and erotic mortifications at the hands of white northerners and black southerners before factually being saved by the thoughtful, Ku Klux Klan. The film is divided to show the different aspects of those two sides during this historical time. During this time Africans were coming to America and it started the reconstruction on our country. D.W. Griffith made this film to show us the reality of racism at this point in time. …show more content…
This movie in particular was three hours long, for most viewing a three hour film with speaking is draining. Seeing that I could barely endure my focus on what was being shown. I decided to divide the movie up into three days for an hour. For those days I took notes and really analyzed what I thought was wrong and miss told. In the movie the embellishments about Africa Americans was misguiding. The beginning of the second half, the whites were holding up signs stating they wanted “Equal rights, equal politics and equal marriages.” Realistically speaking, we all know that was not the case. For the most part whites only wanted that for themselves not for the whole community. The way that Griffith tried to reveal whites was in a way that said they were in favor for equal rights for all. That they were the “helpless white minority.” And to be quite honest I think that’s pushing it.
“ Some of these early productions have racial themes which reorganize the world in such a way that black heritage is rewarded over white paternity; they are schematic renunciations of the prevailing order of things in white American society where, historically, the discovery of black blood meant sudden reversal of fortune, social exclusion, or banishment.” (Gaines, P.3) Within the movie the amount of mistruths about African Americans was sad. Within the movie you notice that the blacks were always or seem to be yelling, acting uncivilized and doing
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 From a critic’s point of view, what is there not to scrutinize when a white, Jewish filmmaker is responsible for a historical film about African-Americans during the Civil War? One which happens to have a brave young Boston Brahmin as the supposed leader of a colored battalion? Surely he does not have the license to create a film based on a heritage with which he has no affinity. Director Ed Zwick was apprehensive with the task and struggled with his entitlement to create such a film.
 For films concerning slavery, the role of the filmmaker as educator is substantially heightened. All too often slavery films categorically vilify whites as oppressive forces, polarizing race and stereotyping the white
Aside for a few minor characters that were characterized as being unintelligent and subservient individuals who fulfilled their duties with respect, the complete film declined to present the African American struggle and the role blacks played in the American Revolution. Spike Lee wrote in a letter to the Hollywood Reporter, “For three hours The Patriot dodged around, skirted about or completely ignored slavery, the Patriot is pure, blatant American Hollywood propaganda a complete whitewashing of history” (Guardian 2). The absence of such harsh yet essential material only facilitates nativist ideology because it creates the illusion that not only is the United States perfect, it has always been perfect. This false sense of perfection creates a superiority complex which is the root cause of
Birth of a Nation, a film written and directed by D. W. Griffith, that follows the lives of two different families during the Civil War and the hardships that they had faced. This film was very controversial for its time, and even during the current time period, with the issues of race being brought up during the majority of the film. This film was written during the 1920’s when pop culture was ever changing with the issues of race and gender. Birth of a Nation, was somewhat of an accurate representation of that time period, but it often brought up about much disgust with much of the sensitive content. Griffith’s film was the talk of the decade, and is even still relevant today, but it is very obvious that the issues brought up about race and genders were oftentimes inaccurate.
Albeit it’s obvious propagandistic nature, It was very well received in New York. It had done so well that it reopened three times in the same city in 1921, 1922, and 1930. Although, some audiences were disturbed by the glorification of the Klan. The main character was depicted saving a white damsel in distress from losing her virtue while trapped in a room with a vulgar Black carpet bagger. It depicted the Klan being heroic and victorious for the south. The heroes of the south. Griffith played to a purely southern audience seeking redemption from an image battered history. “Griffith made movies which reflected popular understanding rather than instructed it. A birth Of A Nation magnified convictions already there” according to Jack Temple Kirby in Media Made
The movie The Birth of a Nation (1915) occupies an important place both in the history of the world cinema and in the Afro American cinema. Indeed in the world cinema because it had known a lightning success and it still considered as the first blockbuster of Hollywood History. Furthermore, it has received excellent reviews from the audience and from the White House. The Director, David Wark Griffith spent almost 100 000 dollars for this movie, a colossal budget. This movie benefited the considerable weight of Hollywood . It had also touched the Afro American cinema because of its racist representations. Laure-Anne Cari affirms that the movie spreads the idea that the Black is either devoted to the Whites or opposed to them . Régis Dubois adds
"[Griffith] portrayed the emancipated slaves as heathens, as unworthy of being free, as uncivilized, as primarily concerned with passing laws so they could marry white women and prey on them," says Dick Lehr, author of The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America's Civil War. The film portrays black men as savages threatening white women and unworthy of government participation. The other element conveyed in Griffith’s film was a summation proposing the one and only solution to America’s dispute: to deport all black Americans back to Africa. The blatantly distorted views of reconstruction are made evident by the portrayal of the KKK as heroes. The film shows the white cloth covered members “saving” white families from the barbaric blacks as they attempt to burglarize the white homes. In fact, the males of the household are shown protecting their ever so fragile wives from the atrocity that is the black man, even though many women sought to redefine their roles within their
The movie goes back to the early 1950s,60s,70s, and 80s. This takes us to the time when there was enormous racial tension between African Americans and the white Americans. It was difficult for many African Americans to come up from the low position they were in because of how they were being treated. Countless of them never came up from where they were because of racial oppression. This is shown in
Finally, the film “Birth of a Nation,” shares similar sentiments with Lott’s “Love & Theft.” This film, which depicts the black people as good for the little but subservient labor, depicts freedom as something that is interested, above all else, in intermarriages, and vengeful violence that majorly coerced the white women into sexual relations. Additionally, critics of the film consider it an overly offensive and racist movie. For instance, the most significant offense by the movie is its depiction of the black characters in it. In the film, all the prominent characters are performed by the white actors in blackface and during the reconstruction. From an abolitionist perspective, the key theme of the film “Birth of a Nation” is the supposed
W. Griffith to be a premier storyteller in film but disagreed with him on politics and ideology, such as the blatant racist depiction of blacks and the portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan as avenging heroes in The Birth of a Nation.
Many of the African Americans at this time lacked the necessary funds to go tothe cinema and view movies. Griffith understanding this demographic created a movie, with his intended market to be pro white folks of his era. If Griffith was given birth to in the northern states, there is a great chance his “Birth of An Nation” would have had a polar opposite view of the destined ideas. Ideology plays apertinent role in films based on current events, and even those that have come to pass. Ideology reflects the thinking of that specific era of a definitive group of people, even a nation.
First of all, this was a great movie. There is so much going on throughout the movie that it is difficult to pick just one section of it to blog about. Like Amber, I too felt this same part of the movie hitting home with me. I have found myself doing the same action as the white women at times with my boyfriend, family, and friends; getting closer to whom I am with, walking faster, or looking away from others I am meeting on the street. Not only however do I feel this way around black individuals, but for many people I meet on the streets of whom I am unsure about. I feel that growing up in a small town has led me to “fear the unknown”. I do not mean to offend anyone with my actions, nor do I even do this consciously, but now after viewing
Therefore, people question what is the main criteria for “being American”. The film states that you would have to gain full rewards of american citizenship to be considered white and it had to be decided through a judge. This leads to a large amount of flaws. For instance, in 1915 Leo Frank, a jew in atlanta was pulled from jail and hung for killing a white girl. People started to question what was white and if a Jew could be considered a white man. People who were seen as non american were seen as the enemy. They strip them of their civil liberties and put them in internment camps. This start becoming a problem because what becomes our country if most people are getting kicked out and killed. The problem was that there was no exact way to calculate if you were
As a child, I was largely unaware of the blatant racism and sexism that permeated early film history due to a combination of lacking a critical eye and rarely seeing old film. Popular films such as D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of A Nation(1915) and Broken Blossoms(1919) center their plots on archaic depictions of race, with the former glorifying white supremacy and the KKK and the latter using the term “Asian” as a disability to be overcome rather than an intrinsic part of one’s character. Watching the “otherness” of these characters opened my eyes to many of the larger issues that would be discussed in the class, as they were very extreme