Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Birth of a Nation

D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation, basically just a simple "North and South" story of two families serving in the Civil War and the effects of Reconstruction, is one of the most contentious films ever committed because of its portrayal of black people and the glorification of the Ku Klux Klan (which was credited with the group's subsequent resurgence) and its place in forever changing the way movies are made. As to the film's qualities, the photography and editing are ahead of their time, the historical reconstructions are impeccable, the melodrama is trite and hackneyed, and the latter blackface representations are undeniably racist, speaking to the fears of Southern integration
*** 1/2 out of ****