The Birth of a Nation: Nat Turner Movie Trailer (VIDEO)

In fall of 2016 (October 7), the story of the slave insurrection led by Nat Turner will be released in theaters. "The Birth of a Nation". Actor, writer, director, and producer Nate Parker produced and directed this film and he will also be portraying Nat Turner.

The film began production last spring and in January of this year it premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival for a competition. It was noted that the audience gave the film a "standing ovation" and Fox Searchlight Pictures purchased the rights to the film for $17.5 million.

While many Black people, including myself, are have had enough of the "slave movies", I like the fact that this movie was made. Throughout the history of Hollywood, slave films have always showcased a very biased portrayal of slavery; mainly images of subservience and White saviors. What seems to make this film different from other slavery themed films is that it conveys the 1831 Southhampton, Virginia slave rebellion where Nat Turner led a band of slaves to go from plantation to plantation revolting for their freedom. Because of this bold act, Nat Turner's legacy (like many other African peoples') has not been celebrated by the mainstream in comparison to the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. That isn't to devalue their accomplishments and fight, but let's be honest about how the more rebellious Africans are hidden from history books.


The film's title is a play off the 1915, historically and blatantly racist propaganda piece "The Birth of a Nation" (originally called "The Clansman") portraying Black men as a threat to White womanhood. After the release of the movie, which was even cosigned by bigoted president at the time Woodrow Wilson, the numbers of Ku Klux Klan members peaked (Source).

When I saw the preview, chills went through my body and I was a bit pressed it will be releasing in the fall and not sooner. Nonetheless, remembering that Hollywood has its hand in this film, I hope the story is accurately portrayed without any misleading information or White savior-ism.



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