The Birth Of A Nation

1188 WordsSep 2, 20165 Pages
The Birth of a Nation, arguably one of the most ambiguous names in the history of cinema, is only about to get more complex and chaotic. The Birth of a Nation was originally the title of D.W. Griffith’s 1915 racist propaganda film about the rise of the Ku Klux Klan who “saved” the South from being dictated by blacks during the Reconstruction era when the North tried to rebuild the South after the Civil War. Now, that title poises a new movie written, directed, produced, and starring actor Nate Parker that dramatizes the 1831 slave rebellion led by enslaved African-American Nat Turner. The movie was a serious success at 2016 Sundance Film Festival in Utah. It not only won the festival’s Grand Jury Prize; picked up an “Audience Award”; settled a record-breaking $17.5 million distribution deal with Fox Searchlight; but it even kick-started the early 2017 Oscar buzz. Given the film’s early accomplishments, one is left to wonder why it was named after something that is so controversial and still debated to this day. Almost more than a century ago, D.W. Griffith’s film forever changed the industry of filmmaking with not only its groundbreaking innovative applications of the camera such as close-ups, zooming, crosscutting, all of which heightened the power, the impact, and the emotion of the drama, but also lit up the screen with racist images that will always embarrass and provoke the people of America today (I hope). Hence, the foundation of white supremacy in films was born.

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