Number of Times Seen – 1 (22 Dec 2016)
Brief Synopsis – An educated slave in the 1830’s is hired as a preacher for slaves of neighboring plantations in order to try and use the Bible to explain why slavery is good.
My Take on it – This is a film that I really wanted to like even more than I did.
I recall after Sundance last year, that this film was touted as the best contender for Best Picture this year.
Unfortunately, it didn’t perform well when it hit the general theaters and that ruined its chances of Oscar Gold.
This is all quite sad, because this film has so much more potential and could have been even more powerful than it was.
It’s easy to see how this was a life dream of Nate Parker to write, direct and star in this film and it’s a shame that it doesn’t reach the potential that it could have.
This film easily transports us to the atmosphere of life in the South in the early 1800’s both from the slave and slave-owner perspectives.
They do a great job showing us how the situation and act of slavery turned into a power keg waiting to explode with all that was happening at the time.
This film reminded me a lot of 12 years a Slave (2013) and gives us a realistic impression of life in the South during this time period.
I found this entire film to be extremely powerful and done well, but the most powerful scene for me was the final one when they used morph technology.
Bottom Line – Great film that shows the plight and hypocrisy of the slave trade in the early days of the US. Would have liked it to be even more powerful than it is because this film had even more potential than what is shown. The atmosphere is done extremely well and we can easily see how the situation of slavery in the South was a powder keg waiting to explode. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – This movie deliberately shares its title with D.W. Griffith’s 1915 movie The Birth of a Nation (1915). That film, an adaptation of Thomas Dixon Jr.’s 1902-1905 pro-Klan novels The Leopard’s Spots and The Clansman, was a runaway critical, commercial, and cultural success. President Woodrow Wilson, who screened it in the White House, was said to have declared that it was “like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” It was also the subject of protests against its virulently racist view of African Americans. Historians see the movie as a major impetus for the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan and a concomitant rise in lynchings and other racist violence during the early part of the 1900s. Protesting the film’s racist views was an early action for the then-young NAACP. Long into the twentieth century, mainstream, mostly white cinema scholars continued to praise the film as a landmark technical achievement in the history of motion pictures, while minimizing or ignoring altogether its racist message. Spike Lee was so outraged that his NYU Film School professors taught The Birth of a Nation (1915) with no mention of its racist message or legacy that he made a student short film titled The Answer (1980) as a response. The film so offended many of his professors that Lee was nearly expelled from NYU. He was ultimately saved by a faculty vote.(From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy
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