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Customer Review

7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Technically good but with a vile & despicable message, 11 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Birth of a Nation [Blu-ray] [1915] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
No matter how much I agree DW Griffith was a great film-maker, I can't agree that Birth Of A Nation is a great film. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those embarrassing, middle-class, white liberals who tries to make friends with every black person they meet out of some sense of historic guilt (you pathetic saddos), but this is definitely one sickening and disgusting piece of storytelling. You can't deny the camerawork and editing, but you can certainly deny everything else.

- A would-be black rapist chasing the angelic white virgin...
- Drunken black politicians in the seat of government as their same-race colleagues jump around like the animalistic primates they're clearly meant to be...
- The heroic white-hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan chasing down the evil black peril on horseback?
- And who could forget the moment the KKK's white hood is invented when some white kids are seen scaring a black kid with a pillow case? Inadvertent comedy at its best.

What a story to show your children!

Films like this should not be banned, they should be seen, debated and critically destroyed. But what solidifies its reputation as vile art is its cause of the eventual foundation of the 2nd generation of the KKK, the 1st generation organisation having already been dead many years before this film appeared in 1915. By 1920, the KKK's membership had risen from a handful of self-loathing chicken farmers with designs on their sisters to over 100,000 white southerners hell-bent on killing as many black people as they could get away with. The fact Birth Of A Nation was used as a recruitment tool by the KKK to achieve this, only sickens me further.

Everyone, watch this film. It will divide opinion like no other.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Mar 2014 12:03:21 GMT
Michael Open says:
"Films like this should not be banned, they should be seen, debated and critically destroyed. But what solidifies its reputation as vile art is its cause of the eventual foundation of the 2nd generation of the KKK, the 1st generation organisation having already been dead many years before this film appeared in 1915."

What pathetic nonsense from a person who either can't read or chooses to ignore things that do not fit in with his prejudices. The second part of the film (about the rise of the KKK) opens with two titles, the second of which says.... (roughly) "This is an historical representation of the Civil War and Reconstruction Period and is not meant to reflect on any race or people today." Moreover, the films socio-historical analysis of the period was the academically accepted judgement of the time - hence the extended quotation of Woodrow Wilson's book on the subject.
This is not a suitable film for children, just as the films of David Lynch are not suitable for children, but it is unsuitable not because of its socio-political stance, but because it represents disturbing events.
The simple fact is that before 'The Birth of a Nation' the cinema was a novelty that barely aspired beyond the fairground, after Griffith's masterpiece, it was well on the way to becoming the greatest art form that our species has created. There is NO work in ANY art form, except, perhaps Homer's 'Iliad' that has so totally defined its aesthetics as does 'The Birth of a Nation'.
I leave the final word to Orson Welles who said "I have never really hated Hollywood except for its treatment of D. W. Griffith. No town, no industry, no profession, no art form owes so much to a single man."

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2014 13:15:36 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Apr 2014 13:22:01 BDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2014 03:49:03 GMT
You've missed the point. Yes the film is a classic. The film, directed by Griffiths depicts the Civil War from the viewpoint of the losing side. Griffiths, a Southener, was born twenty years after the South's defeat. Though the nation had long begun to be unified and healed, scars were still fresh in the South. Is the film racist? On that basis no. Read Richard Schickel's biography of Griffiths. Racist liberals have dictated orthodoxy on the film for way too long. By the way, Griffiths would later go on to direct 'Intolerance'. Liberals have yet to explain how a 'racist' director could make such a 'racist' film, then go on to direct 'Intolerance'. The films of Spike Lee though, ARE racist.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2015 18:00:13 GMT
S. O'ROURKE says:
"Although Pazuzu is, himself, an evil spirit, he drives away other evil spirits, therefore protecting humans against plagues and misfortunes."

I guess you really are the Demon Pazuzu then.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Mar 2015 19:15:22 GMT
Yeah well I guess you're the 'Gemini Killer' from 'Legion'.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2015 20:40:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Apr 2015 20:47:40 BDT
Although we disagree on Griffiths, thanks for a level-headed response nonetheless. One irony though, is my original review included a long-winded comparison between Birth Of A Nation and Spike Lee's Malcolm X - as I consider both to be three-hour racist epics by racist film-makers. Interesting how we both agree on Mr Lee, though.

Btw, I've always wanted to see Intolerance, but was put off by poor prints. Maybe now's the time as the Blu-ray image grabs look superb.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2015 22:20:06 BDT
Roger Ebert would always make the point that Griffiths made 'Intolerance' to attone for 'Birth of a Nation'. Not true, Griffith was deeply Biblical. Not inspired by a need to appease twenty first century PC progressive liberals. Both films available on You Tube.
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