October 7, 2016

IT'S NOT TERRORISM WHEN THE CAUSE IS JUST:

'Birth of a Nation' is one of the year's best films (Kyle Smith, October 6, 2016, NY Post)

In violent retribution there can be a kind of ecstasy, a beautiful and even biblical conflagration of cleansing destruction, a feeling that will no doubt be shared by many of the film's admirers. Yet Turner murdered innocents, including women and children, to make a political point and was therefore a terrorist, a religiously motivated one to boot. Nevertheless, the film is told from Turner's point of view, and Parker's sense of the intolerability of injustice, the often-doomed logic of bloodshed to answer bloodshed, is chilling, urgent, even magnificent. (Parker's own personal history involving a criminal charge is beyond the scope of this review.)

"The Birth of a Nation" is, like its eponymous predecessor, unabashed propaganda, and I fear it will be misused as a call to hatred. Think about that title again, though, and about the prominence of the American flag in the film's final scene and in its advertising. Think about Turner's reference to claiming his natural rights, the bedrock of our Constitution and the protection of which is the purpose of our government. Slavery was America's original sin, but it was ended by American determination, by American might, by American ideals. Murdering slavery marked the birth of a truly free nation.

Posted by at October 7, 2016 6:21 PM

  

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