This is one of the few movies I've ever seen where the whole audience broke into spontaneous, loud applause a third of the way in.
The film creates a perfect balance between action and depth of basic needs, in the midst of an infertile atmosphere.
It’s not bad or unwatchable but despite the amplitude of the spectacle, the end result is underwhelming.
While this movie was based upon real-life events, the movie was released at a time when our country was (and still is) very racially divided (2016). The folks who made this film clearly were trying to toss gasoline on the race fire. They wanted to demonize white males for slavery, and in my opinion to agitate blacks who watched the movie.The Nat Turner rebellion occurred a long time ago (1831), and this film portrayed all white slave owners (except white women) as extremely cruel & openly evil against their slaves. It goes without saying that slavery was, and is, awful -- which is why white folks are the only ones who abolished it. However, brutally murdering white folks in cold blood is far worse, and the movie was told from the vantage point that brutally murdering random slave owners was completely justified. The final scene in the movie morphs into a group of black Union soldiers fighting the Civil War, and there's not a white male to be seen fighting. Nor is there any mention that white males in the US government were the ones ultimately responsible for abolishing slavery, and a great many white males gave their lives fighting the Civil War.If you're tired of watching movies that demonize white males, I wouldn't suggest that you watch this. All of the black slaves were portrayed as intelligent, articulate, well spoken, and well mannered, but the white males were portrayed as unkept, dim-witted, and evil.The acting was decent, but it was clear that the script was clearly manipulating the viewer's emotions to push a one-sided agenda.
Great story of rebellion a bit sugar-coated though. Settings, acting, all good. Extras explaining the real story, very good. It seems very bad in the end but today, more people get killed in an hour of madness in the USA than whites in this this rebellion. Africans did pay quadruple. Terrorism was on both sides. Mostly from the whites.
Aside from the Nat Turner rebellion, most slave revolts in America have been largely forgotten - in spite of the fact that the largest slave revolt in US history took place in Louisiana 20 years BEFORE the Turner rebellion. "The Birth Of A Nation" offers us director, writer and star Nate Parker's perspective on the Turner rebellion. The movie receives a lot of negative comments which are probably based primarily on Parker's own controversial past. (He was accused of sexual assault while this movie was in production.) It's also possible that there's a segment of whites who have difficulty confronting the subject matter. I found this an engrossing movie that built well to its climax and in the end was moving and inspirational. The movie isn't without it's flaws but it provides a sobering perspective on slavery in the American south.That in itself, mind you, might be the movie's biggest flaw. The sobering perspective it provides is just another sobering perspective. It doesn't really offer anything fresh about the treatment of slaves in the south, simply reminding us that slavery was a brutal institution that dehumanized an entire race of people. There are some historical issues with the movie. First is the scene depicting the brutal rape of Turner's wife Cherry - which seems to have been invented by Parker for the film and becomes what you might call "the last straw" leading Turner into rebellion. But there's no evidence that it ever happened. I also thought that Parker softened the blow of the rebellion itself, perhaps to make Turner seem more noble? It was a bloody revolt that deliberately targeted white women and children and not just the men who owned the plantations and the slaves - but we didn't see much of the slaughter of the women and children. Turner's capture toward the end of the movie held Turner up as a model rather than offering the truth. In the movie Turner seems to hold his head high as he gives himself up. The truth is that he hid in the woods for a couple of months until he was discovered hiding in a hole in the ground by a white farmer. Parker clearly had an agenda here - to turn Turner into more of a hero than he was. The film also doesn't offer much analysis of the impact of the revolt. Was it successful? It's hard to say how to measure the success of such a revolt. No slaves were freed by it, and in the immediate aftermath of the revolt literally hundreds of blacks - slave and free - were murdered, and many laws were enacted that oppressed blacks even more than they already were. Little of that gets mentioned at any length. So the movie has its issues. However, I personally thought that the movie overcame those problems. In the basic flow of the story, the history was accurate enough, although the movie chose to have Turner remain the property of Samuel Turner up until the rebellion, whereas he had actually bounced around a fair bit. Perhaps that decision was made so that Samuel would be a sort of composite character representing all slave owners - but it creates a historical problem when Nat kills Samuel at the beginning of the rebellion since Samuel had died several years before the revolt. Turner was a preacher - taught to read and familiar with the Bible - and he definitely believed himself to be called by God for a greater purpose. That is a recurring theme in the movie: that Turner believed himself to be God's instrument, and the ultimate revolt to be God's vengeance against the white oppressors. In that, it points out that religion can be used to promote violence and killing as well as love and peace. I suppose it also raises the question of whether such violence and killing is sometimes justified - which are actually very relevant questions in today's world, where religious-inspired violence is becoming commonplace. In the movie, Turner helps an indebted Samuel save his plantation by being rented out to other whites to preach submission to their slaves, carefully selecting only "approved" verses from the Bible to justify slavery but is shown to become increasingly uncomfortable as he becomes more aware of Bible verses that condemn slavery and seem to justify violent rebellion against oppression.The movie depicts a lot of violence. There's rape, there's beatings, Turner himself is mercilessly whipped when he's believed to have become too "uppitty" in his preaching, for lack of a better word. The actual rebellion – while softened in its brutality - is still shown to be a violent and bloody one. Parker's performance as Nat Turner was extremely good. He's been criticized by some for (as the director and writer) placing too much of the focus on his own character, but that strikes me as a ridiculous criticism. The revolt is probably the most famous slave revolt in American history and it's remembered as the Nat Turner Revolt. How you could tell the story of the Nat Turner Revolt without focusing heavily on Nat Turner is beyond me. I also liked Aja Naomi King's performance as Cherry. The title is intriguing. "The Birth Of A Nation" seems to deliberately reference D.W. Griffith's 1915 "Birth Of A Nation" - which presented a very different story, steeped in racism and a defence of the Ku Klax Klan, which was just beginning to reorganize as that early movie was released. I'm not sure the point that was being made in taking the name - but it's obvious that there was a point.I think this movie does overcome its weaknesses and offers us a glimpse of some of the issues that confronted the past and that, in some ways, are still confronting the present. (8/10)
The problem is that it is too long. The first hour is too long explaining things we already know. Romance has too much importance for me. I'm not interested in romance as much as the story that will tell us and it takes a long time to get started.The actors, Nate Parker is the worst. He wants to get a lot on the screen. He does not know where to cut himself. At times it is too overrated and comes out too much at some point. The others are all great.The symbols he tries to show, I love these things, he does not manage to carry it out well. It does not convey what it should, you see it and it influences you but it does not overwhelm you.You have a great picture. Get to convey that you are in that moment and gets you into the story.It's set, great. From the cotton fields, the large mansions, the nightlife with fog.The management does not convince me, for all the errors commented and why I do not like how it narrates with the camera. He does not know how to compose and for certain moments would have been very good. He does not know it's long..Spoiler: For example when we see the slaves tied and their teeth are broken, it is quite well achieved, something reconciles you inside. You believe it and it comes to you. However when they are going to whip it, it closes the plane so much and it does not prepare you so that it arrives to you, although you see the whip by the ground, like saying it comes already, but it manages to arrive.The moment the girl leaves with the slave pulling the rope is a moment that would have to be very cruel, but I think she does not know how to pick it up, from the point of view of the camera, the slow camera, which comes very Well, is not well employed, and does not have enough time