The Birth Of Nate Parker
Sundance just wrapped and for sure this edition will be remembered as the year of The Birth Of A Nation by Nate Parker. While writing this review, we are still overwhelmed by what we saw last Monday at Sundance premiere.
The standing ovation began even before the screening at Sundance, as the audience rose to its feet for the writer-director-star’s brief pre-film introduction.
Nate Parker plays Nat Turner, the Virginia slave who led an infamous, short-lived rebellion in 1831. At the time, the rebellion was used to justify new, even harsher laws targeting blacks. It has also inspired numerous works of art, music, film, and literature, most notably William Styron’s florid, intense, controversial 1967 novel The Confessions of Nat Turner, and Charles Burnett’s documentary Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, which itself is about the different ways Turner’s rebellion has been portrayed and interpreted through the years.
In the current climate, it’s easy to imagine that The Birth Of A Nation, will still be on everyone’s minds a year from now, when the Academy does penance for its current perceived slights by nominating it for a slew of awards. Certainly Fox Searchlight, which guided the decisively superior 12 Years A Slave to the best picture Oscar two years ago, will make sure that the film stays on everyone’s radar between now and then, and there can be no doubt that the film will be a significant commercial success.
Since its premiere on Monday, Parker’s The Birth Of A Nation has made a bit of its own history by selling to Fox Searchlight in an overnight bidding war for $17.5 million — the largest purchase ever at this festival. Parker chose Fox Searchlight over a $20 million bid from Netflix because he wanted a large theatrical release to spur audiences into action.
For sure Nate Parker’s goal is achieved, as his seven-year passion project is ready to be released by one of the most powerful studio, as his film will participate to create a nation of “change agents,” and he took back the title of The Birth of a Nation back from its bloody history!
A must-see and must-show for sure.
The Birth Of A Nation written by Jean Mc Gianna Celestin and Nate Parker. Directed by Nate Parker, with Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Gabrielle Union, Jackie Earle Haley, Mark Boone Jr and Aja Naomi King.
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