Sundance Darling ‘Birth Of A Nation’ Made A Major Statement With It’s Title
If there is one movie that I can’t wait to see in 2017 it has to be 2016’s breakout Sundance hit ‘The Birth Of A Nation’. The film was the passion project of actor Nate Parker, who retired from acting until he made the film. He not only starring in the film as Nat Turner, the legendary slave who rebelled and caused a slave revolt in Virginia. The film is said to be bold, bloody, and filled with truth, a truth that Parker himself didn’t learn till he was in college. He grew up in Virginia only 100 miles from where Nat Turners revolt started and knew nothing about the harrowing tale. This took Parker aback, not knowing how such a pivotal historic event could be seemingly unknown by the general public. This drove him to create the film that recently broke Sundance records, selling for a whooping $17.5 million. The previous record was held by ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ when it sold for $10 million.
The thing that makes 2016’s ‘Birth Of A Nation’ so important to me is the fact that Parker took the title of hands down the most racist film in history and gave it new meaning. The original Birth of a Nation is described as this:
Two families, abolitionist Northerners the Stonemans and Southern landowners the Camerons, intertwine in director D.W. Griffith’s controversial Civil War epic. When Confederate colonel Ben Cameron (Henry B. Walthall) is captured in battle, nurse Elsie Stoneman (Lillian Gish) petitions for his pardon. In Reconstruction-era South Carolina, Cameron founds the Ku Klux Klan, battling Elsie’s congressman father (Ralph Lewis) and his African-American protégé, Silas Lynch.
Legendary film critic Richard Corliss described the 1915 film:
It is romantic chivalry, Griffith insists, that led to Southerners’ retaliations against Negroes. A rapacious black man stalks a young white woman until, to protect her virginity, she leaps off a cliff to her death. To avenge such indignities and defend the honor of white womanhood, Ben Stoneman and his noble fellows give birth to the Ku Klux Klan (who, in the film’s climax, gallop to the rescue to the music of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”). That racist realm, not the restored United States, is the true Nation of the film’s title: the land of lynchings, voter suppression and second-class citizenship for Southern blacks.
The title of the 2016 film is what will make it stand out come Oscar time. It would make for a great story and its about that time again. The Oscars loves black people every 3 years.