Saturday, April 17, 2010

#206: The Birth of a Nation

Directed by: D.W. GRIFFITH
1915, TSPDT Rank #133

The Birth of a Nation is an undeniable cinematic masterpiece. Seriously, every technique of narrative film ever used in films afterward (and still today) have their origins in this 1915 Civil War epic. Now there's no getting around the blatant racism of this film, or the glorification of the Ku Klux Klan in the second half. But virtually every film made since The Birth of a Nation owes something to it, and the film is still gripping, extremely well made, and powerful - even if it portrays inaccurate history, ridiculous political views, and racism. It's an astounding film, and one that should be seen by any self-respecting film buff, and appreciated - not for any moral message, but for the landmark of film art that it is. I take one star of the technically deserved 10, in respect for all who died at the hands of the KKK, as this film was definitely responsible for some resurgence of that hateful group.

(Rating: 9/10)

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