The Birth Of A Nation – **

Posted: January 21, 2017 in 2016, Drama, Historical, Revenge, Slavery, USA, XX

Hm.

There’s something really disturbing about this movie that is difficult to digest if you have given up on religion as something good. It’s constantly referring to it, in particular the christian faith. The bible and christianity have both been used by slave owners and slave/civil rights resistance leaders as a source for their cause. That’s a known fact. But in this tale,  there’s just too much focus on it.

Sure, it’s the core of the story: a young slave learns to read the bible and then is later used to preach the bible to rebellious slaves so they can obey their masters again. At one point the man is ordered to preach a verse that goes like this: “Slaves, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.” (Peter 2:18-19). That’s in the bible! And however you interpret it or put it in a historical context, it’s VILE.

Then of course things go wrong, at which point a fellow slave asks with reason: “Where is God now?”

Birth Of A Nation is the story of this preaching slave who uses his faith and skills to start a slave rebellion after having seen too much unchristian misery. It’s based on true facts. The man did exist and he did transform from an obedient slave to a wrathful revenge rebel. So no critique there. It’s wel directed and well acted by Nate Parker. (and other members in the cast). Yet somehow it’s not as engaging as it should be. And that’s not because there are hardly any ‘good’ white people on screen. It’s just focusing so damn much on religion that you feel like the director wants people to believe faith is something good and will guide you through vengeance.

Revenge can be cool. Ask Quentin Tarantino. But revenge out of faith is just annoying and disturbing. But that’s probably the whole point of the movie.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4196450

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