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Watch The Birth of a Nation 2016 online free streaming
Nat Turner, a former slave in America, leads a liberation movement in 1831 to free African-Americans in Virgina that results in a violent retaliation from whites.
The Birth of a Nation movie full length review - An unflinching telling of history, the Sundance breakout of 2016
The title, 'The Birth of a Nation', is a reclaiming of the same title
associated with the 1915 D.W. Griffith silent film.
was the first epic of its kind but is a blatant and spooky
glorification of the Klu Klux Klan from today's lens. It's been a
blemish that can't be concealed in cinematic history since its release.
Nate Parker's story repurposes the title as a symbol of how this
country was built on the backbones of enslaved Africans and their
unavoidable connection to a country founded on the pursuit of freedom.
It's a brilliant way to shelve Griffith's film, which is an important
movie for historical and cinematic study but like the Confederate Flag
has no place in today's world. Parker's 2016 film most certainly does.
Turner was born a slave but early on was unusually taught to read from
the Bible, and would grow up to become a preacher. Through studying the
Bible while living in the midst of slavery (which as Parker put it,
"allowed nobody to go to sleep without a guilty conscience"), Turner
reaches a point where he can no longer stay silent about the cruel
injustice that, in this world, is a daily routine. At a certain point,
he is tired of the slave owners abusing scripture passages to make
their slaves submissive and moves toward radical action as the only
path to freedom.
One area where Parker shines is his depiction of the women in this
world. I would advocate for calling this a feminist piece, which will
get overlooked given its a movie where race is the forefront of the
conversation. A slew of strong women play pivotal roles in the cast:
Turner's grandmother, mother, eventual wife, along with Mistress
Turner, the white baroness of the plantation Nat lives on (Aunjanue
Ellis, Aja Naomi King, and Penelope Ann Miller). Multiple other women
are essential to the story as well. These women play a massive role in
his life and are never reduced to bit roles. It's a rarity for a male
director to make so much room for prominent female roles (not to
mention especially in a historical film).
Overall, 'The Birth of a Nation' strikes a chord that the industry
needs to feel right now and that the audience will experience upon its
release. In the wake of #OscarsSoWhite and the lack of media
representation, Parker's unflinching telling of history invites the
public to experience a part of this nation's formation and legacy that
may not be well known to the general public, and as Paker emphasizes,
reflect on why it matters today.