The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation

Liberty and union, one and inseparable, now and forever!

The Birth of a Nation is more of a historically important film than one I would recommend to a casual viewer. It is D.W. Griffith’s racially charged masterwork (Intolerance notwithstanding), and really showcases the director’s skill and talent as both a film director and as a storyteller.

A fair warning: this film is very racist, like, disturbingly so for a modern audience. The film is about the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and paints the men behind it as the heroes of the film. So once again, you’ve been warned about this one. Nonetheless, the film is well done in typical Griffith fashion, especially the story (as racially charged as it is). Griffith’s typical style of using his monogrammed title cards to convey most of the story bits while leaving dialogue to the wayside for the most part helps keep the film going, even despite the 3 hour running time.

This is a hard one to sit through, I’ll admit, and it gets points off because of it. It’s well done, but there just isn’t a whole lot of entertainment value in it, especially any that can’t be found in other more appealing films. But, if you’re a completionist or film historian, this is definitely one to check out.

Arbitrary Rating: 6/10

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