6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A great film,
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This review is from: Birth of a Nation [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
One of the greatest films of all time, released in 1915, this film was made only 50 years after the end of the American Civil War and was the most popular film of all time until well into the 1930s. I say this because it must of struck a cord with a huge amount of the public that lived through the events portrayed. The policy of Reconstruction in America, as depicted in the film, was, in my opinion, one of the most destructive and shameful events in its history. The rape of the Southern States was truly a foul and evil act. Finally after unimaginable suffering the people had had enough and rose up against such tyranny. The film explores all the main issues of the day. Today liberals have tried to re-write history and you will be hard pressed to find any contemporary work truly sympathetic to the plight of the Southern States. I do not think any rational human being can condone slavery of any kind. However, the policy of Reconstruction is said to have set back the civil rights of African Americans by over a hundred years. To me the film is as relevant today as when it was first made. It could be argued the resentment caused by polices such as affirmative action only divide a nation not bring it together. As this film was made in the silent era some of the characterisations of some people are over exaggerated and some people may find that offensive. I would recommend all students of history buy a copy and start reading works by people such as Professor William A. Dunning along side the revisionist historians to get a balanced viewpoint.
The 3 disc set that was sent to me is region free.
[DISC 1 - : Nearly 100 years after its initial release, THE BIRTH OF A NATION remains one of the most controversial films ever made and a landmark achievement in film history that continues to fascinate and enrage audiences. It is the epic story of two families, one northern and one southern, during and after the Civil War. D. W. Griffith's masterful direction combines brilliant battle scenes and tender romance with a vicious portrayal of African-Americans. It was the greatest feature-length blockbuster yet to be produced in the United States and the first to be shown in the White House. After seeing it, President Woodrow Wilson remarked it was ''like writing history with lightning!'' However flawed, the film made history. In cities and states across the country, it energized the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which tried to have the film banned and censored. The film also inspired African Americans to move into filmmaking as a way to offer alternative images and stories. This is a newly mastered (in 2011) version of the film from archival 35mm elements. It includes new music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (2011), in 2.0 Stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 PLUS, spoken introductions by D.W. Griffith and Walter Huston (including the newly rediscovered intermission sequence).
[DISC 2 - SD DVD]: Is a DVD copy of Kino's ''Griffith Masterworks'' edition of the film restored by David Shepard of Film Preservation Associates in 1993. It contains an orchestral score adapted in 1993 from the original score by Joseph Carl Breil in 2.0 Stereo and ''The Making of The Birth of a Nation'' (24 min.) Produced by David Shepard and compiled and written by Russell Merritt.
[DISC 3 - SD DVD]: SPECIAL FEATURES (also on DVD ported over from Kino's ''Griffith Masterworks'' edition) that includes a filmed prologue to The Birth of a Nation (1930. 6 mins. Featuring D. W. Griffith and Walter Huston), Civil War Shorts directed by D. W. Griffith: In the Border States (1910. 16 mins.) The House with the Closed Shutters (1910. 17 mins.) The Fugitive (1910. 17 mins.) His Trust (1910. 14 mins. -- courtesy David Shepard. Music by Robert Israel, performed by the Biograph Quartet) His Trust Fulfilled (1910. 11 mins.) Swords and Hearts (1911. 16 mins.) The Battle (1911. 17 mins.), New York vs. The Birth of a Nation -- an archive of information documenting the battles over the film's 1922 re-release, including protests by the NAACP, transcripts of meetings, legal documents, newspaper articles, and a montage of scenes ordered cut by the New York Censor Board. Excerpts from a The Birth of a Nation souvenir book (1915) and several original programs.