“Birth of a Nation”

A Look at the Movies

A Look at the Movies 3 Star

Rated R

2 hours 10 minutes

Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope-Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley

I was just wondering how “Gone With The Wind” overlooked the fact that the old south was just crawling with sadistic, degenerate slave owners.

We’re given a more accurate picture from “12 Years a Slave” and now “Birth of a Nation”.

How an ignorant Scarlett O’Hara type misjudged the ability  of a young slave who would later haunt the plantation overseers.

As the history books tell us, Nat Turner became a man of God but only in so far as it benefited the plantation owners, an uncouth  band of self-righteous hypocrites desperate to maintain control.

Nat Turner’s conversion into the leader of a slave uprising  years before the civil war makes for stirring melodrama.

Writer-director and star, Nate Parker brings passion to the character and an understanding to the futility of his cause.

“Birth of a Nation” tempers its anger with scenes that you’ll find deeply touching.

A more skillful director might have made “Birth of a Nation” even more gripping and compelling, but I’m not complaining.

Nate Parker deserves our admiration for finally bringing this overlooked chapter of Black history to the screen.

“Birth of a Nation” probably won’t follow in the Oscar winning footsteps of “`12 Years a Slave”, but it earns itself a highly respectable 3 stars. And just as with “12 Years a Slave”, “Birth of a Nation” is a film for the ages.

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