The Birth of A Revolution
This weekend I was finally able to make it to see Nate Parker’s : The Birth of a Nation. The film focuses Nat Turner an enslaved preacher who in 1831 led one of the most successful slave revolts in American History in Southampton County, Va. The film shot with a 7 million dollar budget does two things which most larger budgeted period pieces that focus on slavery seem to leave out. 1.) The perverted use of religion to control and enforce the institution of slavery. And 2.) A proper depiction of the victims of slavery fighting back. This film showed what it meant to live in constant fear of overseers and Masters. Which also made me think of the mental and emotional scars we still carry to this day. From families being split up to husbands being forced to sit back, powerless while their wives were chosen by the Masters’ guests and sexually assaulted. Parker’s film presented scenes that were both difficult to watch, and also scenes that we , as an audience needed to see. The film left me not only feeling angry for what happened to my ancestors, and what is still happening to Black Americans and other minorities due to the poor socioeconomic, educational , and prison for profit systems. The movie also made me ask myself could I have had the resolve that Nat had as he waited for the sign from God to put his plan into action. Today we all say “ I couldn’t have been around during Slavery, they would’ve had to kill me” but would you really have had the courage to leave your family knowing you may never comeback. To fight a battle that you may not see the victory in your lifetime? For me one of the best pull away’s from this film was not that all white people were bad, some weren’t shit, and deserved what happened to them. Some were lost in a corrupt system. Some of them were dealing with life the best they knew which was self-preservation. The pull away for me was how important it is to stand up for something you believe in, and no matter the cost you fight for it.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the writer and director of the film, Nate Parker. With some even boycotting the film due of their views on Mr. Parker’s sexual assault case, in which he was acquitted. While I have my own views on Nate Parker I will say this , do not, not support the art, because you do not like the artist. Art deserves to stand alone for what it is…..art