The Birth of A Nation

The Birth of A Nation

DVD - 1998
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This epic story of the Civil War as seen through the lives of two families is a controversial classic of film history.

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Maoisdead
Jul 12, 2017

The Birth of a Nation has become a staple of any film studies course, for its excellent performances, thrilling action sequences and epic landscapes. However it's subject matter is much more controversial now.

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obadiah11
Aug 25, 2016

the racist tone of the movie is evident but considering when it was made and the emotions it evokes I have to say it is a well made movie and the soundtrack is very good. as an African-American I watched it to get my own opinion and it was very enlightening. You also can't deny its historical significance in film making.

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Monolith
Jun 25, 2016

In addition to the blatantly racist and repugnant mindset of filmmaker D. W. Griffith, I am absolutely *dumbfounded* that this was high-technology of the day. Only ONE hundred years ago! Shoe-polish on Caucasian actors' faces -- my God. How will the retrospect be in the year 2116? Will people be shocked by things as they are now...?

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voisjoe1_0
Jul 07, 2015

Greatly innovative, but virulently racist. This film was shown by President Woodrow Wilson at the White House (a Southern White Racist who told Black leaders that “segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit…) for all his colleagues and friends. Basically after this act, Whites throughout the South (including the Klu Klux Klan) realized that they would have free reign in their subjugation of Blacks. This was after President Theodore Roosevelt had tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the massive Southern Black peonage system (Roosevelt could not win legal cases as Southern juries were all-white). The showing of this film, not only at the White House, but throughout Whites Only theaters in America, helps explain why American films were so racist from 1915 until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s.

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Libraryman1_0
Apr 15, 2014

No film has given more of an impact to the world of cinema than this 1915 D.W Griffith masterpiece. When it was first released in theatres of the day, there were several riots and strikes. These were owed to how the Ku Klux Klan were portrayed in the movie as the heroes and the blacks as the villains. Birth requires several viewings to really grasp the gist of the story and themes. Lillian Gish and Richard Bartholemess as a result become film stars due to this film.

voisjoe1 Nov 03, 2013

This is one of the greatest films of the silent era. On one hand it demonstrates many new elements of film that were initiated by Griffith. On the other hand, it demonstrates the deep racism that existed 1n 1915, as it depicts African-Americans as buffoons and evil, the Union as traitorous and the Confederates as heroic and saintly. Rather than hide this film in the closet, I believe that this film should be widely shown with the caveat that America is still more racist and unequal than we Americans would like to admit.

aaa5756 Nov 03, 2013

This wasn't the worst movie I've ever seen, it is far from being good.

scottandrewhutchins Oct 11, 2011

Dull, overrated, and racist film, of historic interest only.

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htakenaka
Jan 26, 2016

"After seeing the film, an enthusiastic Wilson reportedly remarked: "It is like writing history with lightning, and my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.""

aaa5756 Nov 02, 2013

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr

aaa5756 Nov 02, 2013

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill

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