The Birth of A Nation

The Birth of A Nation

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
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Nat Turner is a literate American slave and preacher. His financially strained owner accepts an offer to use Nat's preaching to subdue unruly slaves. But as Nat witnesses countless atrocities, he orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.
Publisher: Beverly Hills, California :, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment,, [2017]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (120 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,surround,stereo,Dolby digital 5.1,Dolby digital 2.0,rda
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m
Maoisdead
Jul 12, 2017

A seriously damaged and inadequate movie ... its defects reveal traits of character-arrogance, vanity, and self-importance-that exert an unfortunately strong influence on Parker's directorial choices.

u
uncommonreader
Jul 12, 2017

A stereotypical view.

SFPL_ReadersAdvisory Jun 28, 2017

Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Winner, Dramatic, 2016.

t
TheSandoz
Jun 12, 2017

A pretentious and poorly made biopic, The Birth of a Nation lacks passion and focus.

a
akirakato
Jun 12, 2017

Directed by Nate Parker, this is a 2016 American period docudrama, based on the story of Nat Turner, the enslaved man who led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831.
The near 48-hour rebellion resulted in the deaths of over 60 slave-holding family members, evoking fear throughout the country.
In retariation, hundreds of Africans, both enslaved and free, were murdered.
Nat Turnet's body was flayed and dismembered, his skin sewan into relics, his flesh churned into wagon grease, all in hope of preventing a legacy.
It is an emotionally charged anti-racism epic---one of the greatest depictions of the unjust treatments and struggles of the underprivileged race.

o
obadiah11
Jun 05, 2017

how much time could a slave really devote to learning the Scripture? especially if he had to deal with the type of scum nat turner had to deal with. he was a freedom fighter in every sense of the word.

w
wildct2003
Jun 03, 2017

Well-told story. Worth watching.

d
davidco29
May 31, 2017

Disappointing and over hyped. Adds nothing to the canon of American History in cinema.

l
lukasevansherman
Apr 24, 2017

As many have noted, this film arrived amidst a lot of controversy around director/actor/co-writer/producer Nate Parker's alleged rape in college (The alleged victim later killed herself). While I think films should be judged on their own merits, it's hard not to be influenced by this and by the way he handled it. I don't think any other 2016 film went from hotly anticipated to D.O.A. as quickly as "The Birth of a Nation." It scored big at Sundance and was bought for the record setting sum of $17.5 million. By the time it opened, the rape allegation had overshadowed the film and most reviews were tepid. Initially an early Oscar contender, it did poorly at the box office and received no nominations.
Sorry for the length preface. So how is the film? Not as bad as I expected, but also disappointing. Nat Turner was a Virginia born slave who was also a preacher and supposedly heard voices before leading an infamous slave revolt that killed 60 white people (including children) before it was violently put down. He was already the subject of William Styron's novel "The Confessions of Nat Turner" and it's compelling material that would seem to make for a strong, if controversial, movie. What stands out is how slow it is and how long it takes to get to the actual rebellion. Parker plays Turner and while he has presence, Turner as a character is a bit of a blank. One of the most difficult questions that they revolt raises (Should violence be met with violence?) is never really addressed. I would say it's strength is in showing the awfulness of slavery and keeping the memory of our shameful history alive, but I wish it were a better, more interesting film. Another flawed film from last year that dealt with rebellion against injustice: "Free State of Jones."

m
mjayh
Apr 16, 2017

Before deciding if this film makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of this period of history, people might want to look into the real lives of Nat Turner, the historical figure at the centre of the story, and Nate Parker, the writer/actor/director of the film, as both fall very short of exhibiting admirable behaviour. As someone else pointed out there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the movie because of the violent acts of Turner and Parker's history of sexual impropriety, his harassment of his victim which resulted in her suicide. It's an ambitious film, not without merit, but ultimately work of an inexperienced director and notable mostly for the controversy.

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