Went to see Birth of A Nation this past weekend…. In response to several conversations with “history buffs” (people who only use Google as a research tool) I’ll say this…. I believe that people should NEVER count on Hollywood to be historically accurate. We as a society don’t like to do research before we speak on certain subjects; more of a “Cliff notes” kind of people.
There’s a lot of myth and urban legend surrounding the life of Nat Turner, given the fact that most of his life story is based upon a “jail house conversation and confession” and unreliable oral history. I do believe that we need to research our past, and not wait for Hollywood to erroneously tell our history.
None of this is a criticism of the movie or Nate Parker. Despite the controversy that has dogged Mr. Parker in recent months, his acting and that of the entire cast was brilliant and compelling and I urge you to go see it.
I applaud the writers for including aspects of slavery that most slave movies refuse to show. The most dynamic scene shows how slavemasters and ministers used religion and the Bible to justify their treatment of slaves and Nat Turner (Nate Parker) giving scripture to admonish them.
The movie was bold and filled with powerful imagery that will make simultaneously swarm, cringe, cry and bolt upright in your seat. Following in the footsteps of motion pictures like “Selma” and “12 Years A Slave”, Birth of Nation shows that America has come a long way from its “peculiar institutions”, but sadly still have a long way to go.
Jason Clark is the managing editor of Brothaonline.com