The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation ★★★★★

Nate Parker, wrote, directed, produced and stars as Nat Turner, the slave who led a rebellion in 1831 in his film "The Birth of A Nation". The film is visceral, and sometimes even harder to watch than 12 Years A Slave. Nate Parker is excellent as a slave who becomes a preacher, and is used by his owner to quiet slaves at nearby plantations with his sermons. Armie Hammer plays his conflicted drunken owner.

The film lived up to all the hype. It deservedly won the grand jury prize and the audience award at Sundance. Look for it at the Oscars next year.

At the showing I attended, there was an extremely long standing ovation at the end of the film, and Nate Parker broke into tears during the moving Q&A. He talked about seeking out the advice of Edward Zwick who filmed Glory for the battle scenes, and Mel Gibson about Braveheart. The final hanging scene reminded me very much of Braveheart, in fact. Amazing film. Simply amazing.

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