The Birth of a Nation (2016)

The Birth of a Nation (2016)

2016 R 120 Minutes


Nat Turner, a former slave in America, leads a liberation movement in 1831 to free African-Americans in Virgina that results in a violent retaliation from whites.

Overall Rating

5 / 10
Verdict: So-So

User Review

  • This is a movie that I've wanted to see since Sundance, with all the buzz and a story that most people never have heard of before. I walked out of this one thinking it was a good, not great film, and it could have been so much better. To start off with the pros of the movie, the cinimotography was absolutely amazing. It is probably to most beautiful looking slave movie, but that's not really saying much. The proformances were very strong, especially from Nate Parker and Armie Hammer. The writing was overall pretty solid, as it did come up with compelling characters and an interesting enough story. The rebellion itself was very powerful and engaging, and you could definitely see how the characters would do such a thing, mostly thanks to the writing. Something I wasn't pissed off my that everyone else is pissed off by is the symbolism, which I think at times fits and doesn't fit the film I was wataching. Now onto the cons, which sadly are pretty major. One is definitely the pacing, which left me kind of bored at some points in the film. This is probably thanks to the lack of tension bulit up to the fight and how little of the movie was devoted to the rebellion. I also feel this movie also had some missed opportunities. One was the fact that they didn't really dive in to how religion could be used for both good and bad. This was touched on in like two sentences in the film. Another was the rebellion itself, and how all of the stuff about the rebellion itself was in the last twenty minutes of the movie. I also felt that Nate Parker's direction was pretty mediocre, which isn't suprising for his directional debut, but it seems he's a better actor then director. Overall the birth of a nation was a good directorial debut for Nate Parker, but it didn't have the emotional weight this movie needed and had a bunch of missed opportunities that would have made this a great film.