Sunday, January 22, 2017

Birth of a Nation

It's never too late to educate one's self on history. I watched the movie "Birth of a Nation" the other night and the seeds of it's terror and violence stayed with me longer than most movies depicting violence.

As a man who loves learning about historical times, I've seen and heard much of it all before. But this movie, which I can't say had the best writing or acting of movies like it, got it's message across expertly. Here's my Amazon review for "Birth of a Nation" and why I think it important for today's movie audiences from all nations to watch.

Not Just Another Slavery Movie

Some might say, "here we go again, another slavery movie." After watching "Birth of a Nation" they might reclassify slavery movies as "another American terrorism movie."  The movie is as much about the antebellum south's many ways of terrorizing slaves as it is about slaves rebelling against such tyranny. It's made clear in the movie that instilling slaves with the terror of white violence toward them is the means by which the plantation owners chose to maintain control and elicit the most profit and pleasure out of their slaves' labors. Not to mention also as a way to bolster and justify white supremacist ideology.

The methods of terror inflicted on slaves in this movie are not new.  We've seen whippings, rapes, intimidated children and such in other movies. What's new here is the making of a rebel against the system of slavery at the hands of the oppressor. This story of Nat Turner gives a sad twist that many might not have heard of before. The fact that Nat's gift of preaching from the good book is used to not so much ease the slave's physical pain and bring peace to one's weary soul, but is used instead to reinforce the terror and fear of the slave master's vengeance should one displease him, is the crime that comes home to roost in this story. It's a scary parable that we see repeated today in the terror headlining the middle east. Whether it be cotton or oil, there's a price to pay for choosing prejudice and profit over humanity.

For those of us who continue to recognize the seeds of terror by the fruits they produce, this movie adds to one's understanding of where the roots of evil lie.

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