I saw (most of) “Birth of A Nation” so you don’t have to
Briana L. Urena-Ravelo
203

I was afraid of this but not altogether surprised by it either.

When the rape allegations emerged I wondered how his own (Parker) world view would color the experience the of Nat Turner.

That said, as a Black Gay Man, I’ve always found Nate Parker intensely problematic given some of his previous interviews about why he would never portray a gay man on film.

To that end I was not altogether looking forward to yet another chattel slave narrative. Granted, those movies (if done well) are important; however, I got the feeling that this movie would just be more of the same…

Sympathetic white character (so the whites in attendance won’t feel too bad about themselves. Thus, again, centering whiteness)…

Female characters whose sole purpose is to advance the male protagonist (granted, I wanted to see this because Gabrielle Union is one of my favorite actresses. But I dunno now)…

Gratuitous black: pain, torture, rape, and murder…And, I presume, all of that takes place prior to Nat Turner’s first act of reprisal…

And then once the 65 white people are killed we’ll probably see the end credits state that over 200 innocent black people were brutally murdered in retaliation…

I was going to see it but it appears to be everything that I was dreading.

Well, hopefully, Viola Davis gets that Harriet Tubman movie underway. I truly want to see a movie where the black protagonist is truly victorious.
I read “The Fires of Jubilee” in college and Nat Turner was more less a tragedy. Moreover, there were well over 200 DOCUMENTED slave rebellions that occurred on southern plantations (not to mention the individual acts of rebellion, like cooks putting poison in their master’s food). I wonder why we are only fascinated by this one?

Be that as it may I don’t know…

Every fiber of my being tells me not to BUT I maybe a masochist and do it anyway.

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