“Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher in the antebellum South, orchestrates an uprising.”
The Birth of a Nation is part written and directed by Nate Parker, but it is also irrevocably embroiled in scandal and controversy. That controversy, rightly or wrongly so, will be a major factor not only in what people think of this movie, but also if they even see it. In this review I’m not going to go into those aspect of things, (I’ve already done so in another post so you can check that out if you like) I’m just going to try and give an honest review of the art and not the artist. To start, this movie is very well done in all the ways you’d want a movie to be. It looks good, its shot well, and it has some really great acting performances. now those things while they are all good, only add to part of the story. The other mot important part, is the story itself. Is it compelling? Is it told well? And the answer to both of those is more or less yes. This is based on a true story, and a fascinating story at that, and Nate Parker really is great here in his role. The story in terms of its structure and layout is also done well, however while this is a story that requires a lot of subtlety, it’s also the kind of story that needs to not become boring while it is allowing for that subtlety to come front and centre. So what we end up getting, is a movie that goes from 0-10 for 80% of the movie and then 10-100 in that last 20%. Don’t get me wrong the movie does a wonderful job at showing the slow and methodical change in the character of Nat Turner, but it also does it in a way that might have some people falling asleep. All in all, this is a powerful film, and one that id like to recommend solely on the story it tells, but i do understand if people can’t or won’t see it for personal reasons.
Review Score : 7.5 out of 10