Birth of a Nation

Whenever I come back from a trip abroad, it takes some time to get back into the flow of things. I always notice some things that maybe I would have missed before, but the new perspective of a different country, a different culture always opens me up to reflect a little more on my own culture.  We are an absurd culture of people, torn into hundreds of different beliefs and philosophies and nothing makes that more apparent more than a trip outside of the country.

I was appalled to come back and find “Birth of a Nation” has been remade. You are probably like most American’s who don’t know what the original film, released in 1915, the film gave rise to a resurgence of the KKK, who were glorified in the film as the saviors– the film was used for years afterward as a recruiting agent for the KKK.  The term blackface comes from the film as white actors were used with shoe grease on their face. The film presents black men as not free people, but sexual deviants, hell bent on rape and savagery.

Wait a minute, you might say, this Birth of a Nation is done from the perspective of the African American!  It is so heralded as amazing and well done.

But why in the hell would you try to remake an old racist film instead of making a film with a similar theme and attempting to correct some of the absurd things discussed in the film.  It’s crazy.

Charles Muedede explains it well:

http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/08/18/24473464/why-nate-parker-should-never-have-made-the-birth-of-a-nation