jump to last post 1-3 of 3 discussions (16 posts)

Birth of a Nation

  1. Stevennix2001 profile image91
    Stevennix2001posted 7 years ago

    For those of you who follow my reviews regularly should know that I've written a review a while back based on the silent film, "Birth of a Nation."  Granted, this was one of my very first hubs published here, but I actually wrote it back when I was 15 yrs old on another site.  Anyway, I remember when I read about what other users said saying it shouldn't be considered part of cinematic history due to OBVIOUS controversial take on history, but I beg to differ.  Although I know i'll get a lot of flak for this, but I'm part indian, part hispanic and half chinese, so please don't think im some sort of white supremacist here.  The reason why I mention that is the film depicts what many white southerners feared during and after the revolutionary war when all the slaves were freed.  The film even goes on to glorify the Klu Klux Klan and portrays african americans as nothing more than sex crazed violent neanderthals.  At first, I was very pissed off when I saw the movie, as I just couldn't get over how utterly racist it was.

    However, after thinking about it and thinking about what the director and writers were trying to do, I finally understood the meaning of the story.  It wasn't meant to be politically correct.  No, it was made to depict the fears many white americans had during those times.  although historically inaccurate, i think dw griffith does a great job illustrating southerners fears in the movie of things that they thought would happen.  plus, the film does implement many techniques that were revolutionary for the time like focus and zooming in part.  plus, it was one of hollywood's first epic hit films, so it certainly earned it's place among classical movies; despite it's controversial story.  However, many of the people that I've talked to about this strongly disagreed.  what do you all think?  does birth of a nation have the right to  be called a classic film or just absolute racial garbage?  please discuss.  big_smile

    1. RKHenry profile image79
      RKHenryposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not going to discuss this here.  But something along this line came up in a debate class at Brown.  I'm pro.  It is history.  It is the recorded history of racism, an historical intellectual time line, and a factual consensus of thought.  In a 1000 years, it will be an Anthropologists wet dream.

      1. Stevennix2001 profile image91
        Stevennix2001posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        wet dream?  im not sure what you mean by that to be honest.  unless your referring to a possible future where humanity will evolve over our petty differences to embrace world peace, is that what you mean by that?

        1. RKHenry profile image79
          RKHenryposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Anthropology.  You don't know what Anthropology is?  The study of human culture?  Culture.  Human, that is.  Anthropology.

          The movie will be a key, a clue, a thread of evidence defining twentieth century Homo sapiens, a thousand years from now.  Hence the wet dream.

          Anthropology, the study of human culture and nature.

          1. Stevennix2001 profile image91
            Stevennix2001posted 7 years agoin reply to this

            nope, never heard of it to be honest.  however, i appreciate you telling me what anthropology is.  i guess you learn something new everyday.  thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.  smile

            1. RKHenry profile image79
              RKHenryposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              Well there you go, I've done my good deed of the day.
              Your post is an Anthropological question though.  But okay, we'll go with the I don't know.  Good for me.

    2. William R. Wilson profile image61
      William R. Wilsonposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Both.  Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, and Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin fall into this same gray area.  Emotionally stirring propaganda.  You can marvel at the technique and disagree with the message.

      I love Chinese movies.  As an outsider, I see a strong Chinese nationalist bent to these movies.  I love them anyway. 

      All film is propaganda to some extent.

      1. Stevennix2001 profile image91
        Stevennix2001posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        good point.

    3. profile image0
      Poppa Bluesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I haven't seen it but maybe I'll rent it and watch. It's interesting that you picked up on the angle of change. People don't like change when they can't envision the consequences of it. Obama promised "change" too, but he never really expressed what he meant by that and people sort of constructed their own idea of what he meant. Now after seeing his policies I believe they aren't liking what they're envisioning and hence his low popularity numbers.

      Anyway, I can imagine how those people must have felt when the civil war was over. Who would do the work? How would they live? I had similar questions when my wife left me and the kids. It's the uncertainty for your future that you think of first, as they must have thought before they realized they would be okay and it was good for the salves to be free.

      1. Stevennix2001 profile image91
        Stevennix2001posted 7 years agoin reply to this

        wow, that's has to be the best answer we've gotten today in this forum.  thank you rawlus for sharing that with us.  I'm terribly sorry to hear about what happened with your wife though

        1. profile image0
          Poppa Bluesposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I'm not Rawlus, and don't be sorry, things always work out for the best.

          1. Stevennix2001 profile image91
            Stevennix2001posted 7 years agoin reply to this

            whoops sorry. i'm still half awake right now, as i didn't get hardly any sleep last night. sorry about the mistake, poppa blues.  lol.

          2. RKHenry profile image79
            RKHenryposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            My bud Ralwus is better looking anyways.cool

  2. William R. Wilson profile image61
    William R. Wilsonposted 7 years ago

    What about Gone with the Wind, which is not as explicitly racist but still romanticizes the slave holding south?

    1. Stevennix2001 profile image91
      Stevennix2001posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      good point, but I would still consider it part of cinematic history as well.  besides, that was the first film to be entirely in color and it featured one of cinemas greatest actors ever in clark gable.

  3. profile image0
    ralwusposted 7 years ago

    LOL I was not going to come here, but I heard my name spoken. That movie changed the way all movies were to be done from then on if I recall. The director was a genius in that, but it also gave rise to increase in the KKK's strength and cause and made many northerners more prejudiced. It was a different time, but no excuse for the behavior of whites of which I am part. It is a classic film. RK, you are a trip man. LOL

 
working