The groundbreaking film The Birth of a Nation confronts American racism by exploring the life of Nat Turner and the horrific conditions that led him to revolt against the institution of slavery. The film also depicts the retaliatory tactics that many White southerners employed against enslaved people in the aftermath of the revolt. As one of the most misunderstood men in American history, Nat Turner’s story provides the perfect crucible to investigate both historical and contemporary issues of race, power, memory and legacy.
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