The Birth of a Nation

Setting aside the license writer / director Nate Parker has taken in his retelling of the slave rebellion led by Nat Turner, the film distresses because it borrows so freely and unnecessarily from the slave film canon. The freshest element is Parker’s portrayal of Turner but even his performance, which is quite good BTW, has remnant patches of Roots, Glory and even 12 Years a Slave. The film is as bleak and bloody as the event it recounts but without the resonance of many of its predecessors and so I left feeling awful but not enlightened.


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