BIRTH OF A NATION

 

Only a few days ago I wrote about what was at the time one of the movies I most anticipated seeing this year The Magnificent Seven starring Denzel Washington. I am pleasantly surprised to discover that not even a week after writing that post I can definitively say that as much as I wish to see that movie it is not the movie I most want to see this year. The movie that I most want to see this year is the film that bears the name above. Some people may think they recognize that title and be appalled that someone in 2016 wants to watch that film and that the individual who wishes to see it is a black man. But let me clear I am not talking about the 1915 movie originally titled the clansman. There is a new film that was screened at Sundance this year that bears the title above and this is the movie that is unequivocally the film I most anticipate seeing this year.

The film is about Nat Turner a true revolutionary who fought for his freedom and the freedom of other blacks at a time when they were subject to the severest of atrocities and indignities. This is a man who carried out the philosophy that Malcolm X would later be known for advocating. If you have never heard of Nat Turner I urge you to look him up and familiarize yourself with his story. His life, his courage and his dedication to his people in defense of the cruelest and horrid injustices serve as an inspiration to me and also apparently as an inspiration to Nate Parker, the actor who is playing him in the upcoming film. Nate Parker is also the writer and director of the film which tells me how important the making of this movie was to him and his fervent dedication to seeing this film being made motivates me to spread the word about the importance of this film.

At the screening of this film where the movie received a standing ovation, Nate Parker did not shy away from the importance of the subject matter when he asked the audience “[a]re you corrupt and complicit?” adding that “There is no middle ground.” He realizes that this movie will have a significant impact in this country and I know that he is correct. One of the things that will no doubt be affected is the dialogue on race in this country even before this movie is released to all audiences and I for one am prepared for the conversations on race to become realer and deeper no longer just scratching the surface. It is one of the reasons that I have wanted to see this movie made and even dared to dream about writing a screenplay on Nat Turner’s life myself. It’s so easy to live in a gilded America where everything is fine now but that does more harm than good. Because as Nate Parker said “without honest confrontation there can be no healing.”

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