The Birth of a Nation co-written, co-produced, directed by and starring Nate Parker tells the story of Nat Turner, a slave preacher from a Virginia plantation, who led the slave rebellion in 1831.
The film made a big splash at its opening Jan. 25 this year during the Sundance film festival where Fox Searchlight bought the rights to the film at a record-crushing $17.5 million.
“The Birth of a Nation” was released in theaters everywhere Oct. 7, 2016, opening at No. 6 in the box-office and bringing in $7 million in the first three days of national release, according to Forbes.com.
You’d think with the huge buyout made by Fox Searchlight the film would have done better. Why did the film not open up at No. 1?
Before “The Birth of a Nation” became Nat Turner’s story it was the movie adaptation of the novel and play “Clansman” a story told during the Civil War about how the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) came to be by Thomas Dixon Jr.
The movie was released in 1915 and faced controversy over its portrayal of black men and even included blackface, a racist stereotype of black people.
The 1915 “Birth of a Nation” has been credited as a driving force in the second coming of the KKK.
On top of that, Millennials don’t know who Turner was.
Turner’s story is one our high school and middle school history classes missed every Black History Month.
Moviegoers such as Joshua Mayorca, a millennial who saw the film twice, admitted, “No I never knew he existed.”
A lot of people have turned away from the movie due to Parker’s 1999 rape case involving him and his roommate. Both were acquitted.
Parker is an actor, producer, father and a man on a mission to launch a conversation on Turner’s part in our American history.
When I heard that a movie on Nat Turner was being released I was thrilled because this film shows a new side to the slave stories constantly told by Hollywood.
It didn’t matter to me about the director’s past. He isn’t telling his story, he’s telling Turner’s.
Finally, a movie where the slaves fought back.
The movie begins with a young Nat Turner. Early on it’s obvious that the film circles solely on the character development of Nat.
A big focal point of the movie was allowing viewers to see how Nat’s mind was driven to the violent slave rebellion.
The film’s portrayal on how slave owners used the Bible against the slaves was also unsettling, how they picked certain passages and scriptures to justify the degrading treatment of slaves.
I felt the story was told very well.
The ending was one that sat with me the rest of the night after seeing it.
ARTWORK FROM EPK.TV