The Birth of a Nation USA 2016 – 120min.
The Birth of a Nation
Virginia, 1831. Nat is born a slave on the Turner plantation in Southampton County. Thanks to his mother and the wife of his owner, he learns to read, gradually becoming a preacher. His gifts of oration move Turner son Samuel to get Nate to preach the word of god and keep Turner’s slaves in line. But as he does so, Nat sees too many atrocities committed against his fellow slaves. He decides to carry out a revolt to massacre the slave owners and lead his people towards freedom.
The Birth of a Nation has had a strange journey: first celebrated at Sundance to the extent of being designated as a future heavyweight at the Oscars, it was marred by the rape scandal that knocked actor, director and screenwriter Nate Parker off his pedestal. The result is a movie that is neither great nor terrible. Inevitably placed alongside 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s film that won three Oscars in 2013, The Birth of a Nation launches the debut of a filmmaker to watch for in the form of Nate Parker, as he takes great care in reconstructing this sometimes visceral page of American history. But his movie does not go beyond the usual formula, due to a script with a superficial plot that doesn’t bring much to a subject that should in itself be exciting.