Sundance Festival’s “Birth of a Nation”

“Birth of a Nation” is a raw and emotional movie about a slavery rebellion in 1831. Nate Parker had many roles as the producer, the director, and the co-writer of “Birth of a Nation”. This movie was seven years in the making.  At the premiere, the audience gave three standing ovations to the stars and film maker. Fox Searchlight won the bid for the distribution rights for a price of $17.5 million dollars, a record for a Sundance festival movie.

The movie stars Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Aja Naiomi King, Aunjanue Ellis, and Gabrielle Union. The story takes place in 1831. Nat Turner, a former slave who taught himself to read, leaves the cotton fields to preach the Bible. He travelled all over Virginia and saw horrible violence and injustice. He then leads a rebellion against the white landowners to free the slaves. The rebels are successful in wiping out sixty slave owners. The original movie was called “The Clansmen”, filmed in 1915 as a silent movie and starred Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, and Henry B. Walthall.

Parker experienced a great deal of resistance to making the movie, such as the shortage of funds and lack of support. He met criticism as many believed they would not receive a reasonable return on investment if they backed the production. Parker has been vindicated by the sales and the audience approval. 




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