Just saw Birth of a Nation (2016)
So, I saw The Birth of a Nation last week and I was utterly amazed at how awesome that movie was. I mean everything from the topics they touched on to the cinematography, to all the iconic shots, etc. The Movie was done well. Probably one of the best “black” movies I have ever seen. Most definitely the best movie I have seen that dealt with the topic of slavery.
That leads me to discuss all the criticism that was associated with this movie. Quite honestly, I think it a sad situation that people will choose not to see such an inspiring movie in theaters because of all the rape allegation stuff associated with Nate Parker. I won’t sit here and say 100% that he wasn’t responsible for his actions, but I will go off the facts presented. He was a black student athletes at a predominantly white school. He was accused of raping a white woman along with his roommate. He was not convicted of any crime by a jury of 11 white jurors ad 1 black juror. On top of that, he did not lose his eligibility to wrestle. Not to speak bad about wrestling, but it’s wrestling…not football or basketball. Wrestling... I am not an expert in law and order or the justice system, but how many young black men have walked away from a situation like that? Need I remind you of the multiple instances where that wasn’t the case? Example 1. Example 2. Example 3. First and foremost, I will not ignore the fact that domestic abuse and sexual assault are very real and disgusting. For every false accusation, there are probably 6 or 7 actual cases, but in the court of law, you are innocent until proven guilty. He was found not guilty against all odds, and not even on a technicality or a settlement. Not only that but he took it upon himself to redefine a body of work that was meant to label black men as “super predators” and people are hanging him by the neck for it.
Now to the topics discussed in the movie: there were a lot of them. It was one of those feelings where you grow up hearing about things that happened back in the day, but to see them on screen unfiltered was so fulfilling. Don’t get me wrong. The rape scenes, the overt racism, the child molestation, and the heart-wrenching violence of the slave masters towards the slaves was horrible, but the scenes were presented with a hint of subtle beauty. From the tranquil music to the smooth panning of the camera, each scene was easily digestible as glimpse into how things were back then. Yes, somethings might have been exaggerated like the rape of Nat Turner or the kid that snitched on them, but I see why those things were added to the movie. There were so many references to other events. Like how Nat Turner’s wife’s face looked similar to Emmett Till’s and how the moments leading up to death of Nat Turner resembled not only the crucifixion, but also the mob mentality of Trump Rallies.
I joke around that this movie could have easily been a black version of Mad Max: Fury Road, but it wasn’t. These were not crazy people trying to destroy law and order. They were human beings trying to claim their freedom. The movie did a great job trying to humanize all the characters in the movie, and show the difficulty they had with their decisions. Nat Turner having a hard time lying in his preaching, and the slave master thinking that he is liberal or revolutionary because he has a black preacher. It painted a picture of a climate that is undeniable for the mere fact that it exists. Many people can choose to ignore the real-life references that inspired the film, but they can’t deny the images they see on the screen.
As a creator, I am truly inspired by this movie, and I will see it again/buy the DVD because it is truly a piece of art that I hope to create one day. I can see why Fox Searchlight bought the movie for $17 million, and I honestly think that it should have gone for more. I know for a fact that I will be watching another movie from Nate Parker because giving him a budget can only mean more amazing things on screen.
Create and Conquer!