- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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My Favorite D.W. Griffith Film
- Alex Krajci
This Is My Favorite D.W. Griffith Film.
Condemnation of this motion picture
- Havard Wells Jones
Abusive racist content negates any artistic value in "Birth of a Nation". I despise the motion picture as created for the express purpose of proliferating the propaganda of bigotry, and I condem all those who participated in the production, both those behind and those in front of the camera. Stains of shame corrode the minds and souls of all white people who tolerate "Birth of a Nation" or who perpetuate racial bigotry and white supremacy. No aggregation of technical innovations is sufficient to offset the message of hatred which the film intends.
The Birth of a Nation: A Racist Masterpiece
D.W Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation", has been a study of great controversy ever since it was first presented on movie screens over 96 years ago. Though this film was released in 1915, it still sparks debate and interest. The images presented here are absolutely shocking, but they all fit into this story. D.W Griffith was a southerner, born and raised in Kentucky, he believed what he was making to a violent degree and he was serious about his work and what he was doing. Though his film promoted racism and hatred, it should not be completely condemed in our culture. Griffith is surely on of the greatest filmakers of our time.
The Birth of a Nation
The Birth of a Nation remains one of interesting works in the history of America. Ismail Khejjou
- Dolores McCann
I thought this movie was realistic. I know it could be offensive to blacks AND/OR whites. But if thats the truth, then we need to know. We need to see what can happen in politics because of major problems within our country. We need to see the repercussions! This is a good wake up call for ALL politicians. I am very glad I watched it!
such an accomplished silent film, such a vile racist message that Hitler must have loved it. this film should not be shown on TCM, especially in the 8pm time slot. it's a piece of crap today as much as it was when first released.
My first silent film. Loved it.
After seeing this movie, I can't help but feel how much Black Americans had to overcome in overturning monsterous stereotypes. It is a great document of bigotry in America at the turn of the century. I did not know if to laugh or cry at what I was seeing on screen.
***Big Load of TRUE RACIST CRAP***
WOW!! Thank God for the Second Amendment. I'm Ready for you, anytime anyplace.
i haven't even seen this movie yet, hence no rating (but i am watching it tonight >^^<) however, are people really rating this based on its being "racist?" you realize it was made in 1915 by a white southern director, right? k just checking. if you like pc, you probably shouldn't be watching anything made before 1995, JUST SAYIN
A complex film from a complex director
It is clearly a powerful film, even if not true. And considering it is over 3 hours long and silent, it certainly holds your attention. Many do not like it due to its content. It may be responsible for resurrecting the KKK in 1915 and for lynchings (look up Leo Frank on wikipedia). Similar to Nazi propaganda, it glorifies a group known to be destructive. I missed that period of this nation's history by a couple of years (or more). My great grandfather lived through it, but I never got to talk to him. But it's that close - and continues to this day. Doubtful these intolerance problems will ever go away. You could watch INTOLERANCE: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages. A very different film. Same director.
Was it prejuidice, or just plain fear?
I had read a lot about this film, including TCM's article which states "Interestingly enough, during a showing of The Birth of a Nation - many decades later - to an all-black audience at Howard University in Washington, D.C., when the poor Pet Sister jumped to her death, the black audience stood up and cheered." I thought she did this ONLY because she IMAGINED would happen because of her own stereotypical belief of black men. After I saw the scene, that is not all that happened. He was chasing her for quite a while and over a distance, why? She was afraid and OBVIOUSLY trying to get away from him, for whatever reason. At no point does he GET IT and STOP chasing her. Why didn't he say "I mean you no harm and walk away?" Yet he continues to pursue her to the edge of a precipice and never backs off. I see this less about race and more about one person's insensitivity to another. The rest of the film is absolutely ridiculous. Blacks immediately powerful and oppressing whites? KKK heroes? Please! I can't believe ANYone let alone Woodrow Wilson bought this di That being said, I find it hard to believe that anyone outside of the vanquished believed this version of history. To think the the blacks were suddenly powerful and immediately began oppressing whites UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. Thee KK are heroes? Nonsense! I can't believe Woodrow Wilson was swayed. Didn't he form The League of Nations? I though the was smarter than that. That said, the rest of the movie us utterly ridiculous. I can't see anyone believing such a twisted view that the blacks were suddenly powerful, began immediately oprressing whites and the KKK were a bunch of heroes. It is appaling that Woodrow Wilson could have been mislead. He promoted the League of Nations, I thought he was more intelligent than that!
Never want to see this.
It is a movie of rascism and hate. Singing in The Rain is one million times better than this.
Get A Grip!
For the time this movie was a masterpiece of filmography! True the film was missing large portions of fact, it is a MOVIE DRAMA, not a DOCUMENTARY! The movie was designed to get a response and it did. It was the ignorant audiance (Including President Woodrow Wilson) who took it as 110% gospel fact! The movie for the time was trying to take a SOUTHERN LOOK at the KKK and a view of the BLACK RACE! If you examine the movie from today's perspective it is a bigoted, prejudice movie that belittles the black race and champions the KKK as heroes. Notice within the next couple of years after the movie the explosion of a resurgence in the KKK which had membership grow to the millions of people which included anti-Catholic, and immogrants coming to this country along with Jews and green martians! If you weren't a white protestant american bred person, you were an "Undesirable". That was the mindset of America in the late teens and 1920's in america, get over it and learn to study film and history rather than criticise it.
Good use of creative License
I love how the director used the cameras to tell the story so vividly. It's really good at the beginning, but I do have a problem with the view used for the Klansmen as heroes. While they were,( as the movie portrays)the champions of Jim Crow laws, they weren't the champions of America. This film's place in cinematic history is definitely well deserved.
The Birth of A Nation
This film would have been so much better if it wasn't so prejudice. At first the movie starts out good. It shows two families, one from the South the other from the North. You get to take a look at how diffrent there lives really were. It is good the very big names of the time in this film. There is Lillian Gish, Wallace Reid, Robert Harron, Mea Marsh, and Henry B. Walthall. When the Northern family comes to visit the Sounthern family they find out that there will be a war. The battle sence are pretty amazing. But it is not until the Reconstruction that it really gets bad. It is quit shocking to see a young girl killing herself and then a former slave get blamed for it. Also it is shocking that the ku klux klan is portrayed as the heros. D.W. Griffth should have studyed harder on this one. Some of the things that they said happened did not! If you want to see this movie or get it, I don't think it is wrong. But remember after the Reconstruction it get's very bad.
Subject matter taints masterpiece.
Racism aside, D.W. Griffith's, Birth of a Nation should be viewed for it's technical advancements whether than for it's subject matter. Closeups, editing, and the way the camera constantly moves are areas of filmmaking that hadn't been explored. America at that time was primarily homogenized. Any film historian will sight above all other considerations Mr. Griffith was a skilled technician and his film a superior contribution against the silent era.
After seeing this movie, it is amazing how far the portrayal of African Americans in cinema have come. It's bad enough whites in blackface, but the Klan as heroes? How absurd! I do recommend this movie to all. You could not imagine how derogatory this movie is without experiencing it for yourself.
Michael needs Hooked on Phonics
Michael is a compelte idiot. He has no clue of what happen during this time. He needs to learn how to read and not go by everything he sees in the movies. Especially when it is slanted by prejustice and bigotry.
I couldn't believe my eyes!
I had heard of this movie but this was my first viewing. This is the most inaccurate portrayal of blacks in the South or any other place in the U.S. I'd seen whites in blackface before, but this was just too ridiculous! And the KKK to the rescue? What's horrifying is that some people believe this to be an accurate account. True, one viewing was enough. I don't want ANYONE to think that this was the birth of this nation!
A look at our past
This movie accuratly shows how things were back in the post civil war times. White people sometimes had to protect themselves from the newly freed blacks rampaging through the south.
God, no, not in 2006
Just stop showing this movie, as well as, Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Racism At Its Finest Hour.
- Lynda Wright
I am a descendant of slaves who built America with their bare hands. I condemn the ideals that that this film stands for. As you know slavery still exists in other parts of the world. Insist that America acts to stop the genocide and slavery in Darfur.
A Racist Landmark
- Thomas Dyja
To show this film and describe it without any historical context on this site--my cable system actually gives it four stars and simply says it's the story of two families after the Civil War!--is shocking and sad. Technically it is indeed a landmark. Historically, it had no small hand in stirring racist hatred that led to a surge in lynchings and racial violence in the teens and twenties, including the resurrection of the Klan. Griffith and Thomas Dixon, author of the novel The Klansman, upon which the movie is based, were serious racists and to pass this twisted film along as if it conveyed historical fact as opposed to being a viscious bit of history itself is highly irresponsible.
One of the Greats
A landmark film that should be seen by everyone
For those of us too young to remember the civil rights movement, and with children who are growing up in an increasingly "PC" environment, it is important to have the historical context to understand tensions that still exist today. Showing "The Birth of a Nation" is a valuable tool for me, as a mother homeschooling teenagers, to help my children understand the history of racism in America in a way that books simply don't impart. By watching this film with a critical eye, we can have a deeper understanding of the fierce drive and motivation of the civil rights movement, an ability to recognize stereotypes that are still used today and where those stereotypes came from, and a better idea of how to fight those same attitudes when we see them today. Accurate history is important to understanding modern life. This movie, I am given to understand, accurately portrays the general perception of African-Americans by white Americans of the period. If this is true, it gives us a clearer picture of exactly what civil rights activists were up against, and a deeper admiration for the many obstacles they had to overcome. How is this a bad thing?
In response to R.Conrad's review. This movie is part of our history whether we like the facts or not. The good and the bad events have made our nation what it is today. Sounds to me like you're a glass half empty kind of person. Think of how we can learn from history. Think of the freedoms all of us in the U.S have today. Blacks and whites together, unlike the events described in this movie. Also, think of how much better we are today because of the horrors this nation has overcome. To use a common pharse, "deal with it" and move on.
- R. Conrad
Showing The Birth of a Nation can only open old wounds and increase anger. With a little encouragement, we could come together as one nation. Why must we continue to find more and more to seperate and divide us? Why?