The film, Birth of a Nation (1915) is a silent film by director D.W. Griffith who pioneered film techniques and changed the way a film’s narrative told its story. Because of this, and the inclusion of some of the most famous stars of the time, the movie had a huge commercial success and was a popular film.
However, the movie is racist and unapologetic about its attitudes, which are those of a white Southerner, raised in the 19th century, unable to see African-Americans as fellow beings of worth and rights.
Another part of Birth of a Nation’s legacy is that it was successfully used as a recruiting tool for the Ku Klux Klan which had a huge resurgence due in large part because of this film.
After Watching the film and reading the articles associated with the film Week Five’s Content, answer the question below and reflect on the film.
While the film is uncomfortable at best to watch in 21st Century America, it has an important place in the history of racism and race issues.
Title. Year. Director(s). Screenwriters (This would be those who wrote the actual screenplay). Starring (Include the names of at least the top three billed actors/actresses). Note any awards the director, screenwriter(s) or stars won after their names. Awards: (Any Awards and Nominations for the film not already mentioned. If there are any Oscar or Golden Globe awards or nominations, those are the only ones you have to include. If there are other awards, such as film festival awards, you may mention those). Genre. Rating.
See example below.
Amadeus. 1984. Director: Milos Forman (Oscar). Screenplay: Peter Shaffer (Oscar). Starring: F. Murray Abraham (Oscar), Tom Hulce (Oscar Nomination) and Elizabeth Berridge. Awards: 1985 Oscar for Best Picture with four other Oscars and two other nominations. Genre: Biographic, Drama, Music. Rating: R.
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