The Birth of a Nation, the multi-awarded first feature by Nate Parker, is screened at the Festival in the New Authors section.
In 1915, D.W. Griffith, pioneer of the narrative cinema as we know it today, made one of the most impressive and , even today, controversial works of history: Birth of a Nation. Based on the novel by Thomas Dixon Jr., Griffith built the first epic work about the aftermath of the American Civil War, from the South point of view, with a strong racist imprint, in which slaves are shown as savages and members of Ku Klux Klan as heroes.
100 years later, one of the key episodes of this same film, the slave upraising led by Nat Turner serves as departing point for the actor, scriptwriter, producer and main character, Nate Parker, to make a work that, in a certain way, responds to Griffith’s production.
Nat Turner was a slave who learnt to read by himself. Influenced by supposed visions and ardent religious beliefs, he stimulated slaves to rebel on August 13th, 1831, what led to the assassination of numerous white aristocrats of the South of the United States. Turner’s insurrection made the United States discuss about the need to abolish slavery. However, the measure was postponed, at the moment, to avoid future rebellions. Nowadays, numerous historians take Turner as a hero and symbol of the fight for freedom.
Parker’s film reconstruct the last period in the life of Turner, from his self-liberation to his capture. It is an epic, historic, violent and bloody adventure.
The director takes the main role and is not afraid at the time of reproducing the events of 1831.
Accompanied by Armie Hammer, Gabrielle Union and Penelope Ann Miller, Parker builds an intense, fundamental, stark narrative to reflect and discuss about the past in relation to a turbulent present, in which certain ideologies are still prevailing within the United States.
Filmed in only 27 days and self-financed, the film has the record of rights for international sales a great studio of an independent production has ever made purchased.
The Birth of a Nation -2016- is coming from an auspicious journey around numerous festivals since its release in Sundance- it received the Jury Great Prize and the prize of the public- to Mar del Plata to leave its trace and pose an rereading of the position of the winners and the losers in the history of mankind.
I do not want this to be a film. I want this to be a movement. I do not want this to be a moment in time. I want this to generate the possibility to talk about how we can address our trauma collectively. From there on, we will be able to create a cultural change. - Nate Parker