Irish Film Institute -OC: THE BIRTH OF A NATION



120 mins, 2016, USA, Digital

This film screened 19th & 20th December 2016.

Open Captioned (OC) screenings, whilst open to all, feature special captions for those with hearing difficulties.

Audio Description (AD), which allows audiences who are visually impaired to enjoy a film through the use of headphones, is available on all screenings of The Birth of a Nation.

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Written and directed by, and starring Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation appropriates the title of D.W. Griffith’s controversial epic for this portrait of Nat Turner, an enslaved African American who, in 1831, led a short-lived slave rebellion in Virginia. As a boy, Nat’s ability to read and write is encouraged by the wife of plantation owner Benjamin Turner, with whose son Samuel he frequently plays. Given a Bible, Nat becomes deeply religious, and in adulthood, now the property of Samuel, preaches to his fellow slaves. When Samuel loans him out to other slave-owners who want Nat to use religion to quell dissent and justify slaves’ suffering, what Nat sees leads him to believe that violent uprising is necessary. With echoes of 12 Years a Slave (2013), this is a powerful, vivid, and timely depiction of a shameful practice.

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