Release date:January 10, 2017
Studio:Fox Searchlight Pictures
MPAA Rating:R (for disturbing violent content, and some brief nudity)
Starring:Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Mark Boone Jr., Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja Naomi King, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith, Gabrielle Union, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley
[divider]The Birth of a Nation is gives us the story Nat Turner, a slave and a preacher that led a violent rebellion in the south. Starring, Directed and screenplay written by Nate Parker is all about a man of God who has a kinder “owner” (if there was a way to be that) that has fallen on financially hard times. In order to make money he uses Nat’s gift of preaching to help other plantation owners keep their slaves under control as he unintentionally has done on his own plantation. On his travels he notices many atrocities perpetrated by these evil humans on those of his race simply because of their skin and the perception that they are no more than animals. As the owner of his plantation grows in influence and the money comes in from his services with the other plantations slaves his master becomes like the others owners. Well, like any other stand up American during the beginnings of our great nation up until now, oppression was met with force.
Honestly, this is a hard movie to watch at times but, the subject is and always has been a hard one to approach. Nate Parker does so in a way that shows a great care for this story and it’s place in our history. I once read that Parker did not want to do another movie until he was able to make this film. That care permiates through his incredible performance and direction of this film. It is simply phenomenal. The cast is great all around and he pulls awesome performances out of them all. The effects used throughout the film were gruesomely well done. From teeth being chiesled out to whip lashes on the backs of slaves.
I haven’t seen any television advertisement for the film but it definitely is must see. It will strike a cord with everyone who sees it. Nat Turner is a man you never hear about during Black History month but, we should hear about more than just the big 3 (Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks) every year. There are lessons to be learned from Turner’s journey and many of the stories left off the standard curriculum like this. This movie is about an American that fought as hard as George Washington or any other founding father to overcome oppression but, more importantly it’s a flat out awesome movie.