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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 04.15.16] drama history

Birth of a Nation became an international sensation out of Sundance even though hardly anyone has actually seen it. Acquired for a Festival record breaking $17.5 million by Fox Searchlight, Nate Parker’s powerful film dramatizes Nat Turner’s true to life slave rebellion.

Interesting to note that the film re-appropriates the title of the infamous D.W. Griffith silent film from 1915, universally considered problematic in terms of its representation of history and the black experience in America.

Nat Turner, a former slave in America, leads a liberation movement in 1831 to free African-Americans in Virginia that results in a violent retaliation from whites.

You can bet Fox Searchlight are going to make a big push for Birth of a Nation in the 2016 Oscar race and in light of #OscarsSoWhite and considering the good reviews and overall conversation surrounding diversity in Hollywood and in the Academy, I think it's safe to say the film has a good shot.

Birth of a Nation stars Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, Penelope Ann Miller, Colman Domingo and Aja Naomi King.

Birth of a Nation sees release October 7, 2016.

Recommended Release: 12 years a Slave

Follow Christopher Webster on Twitter.

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