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Birth of a Nation

In: Film and Music

Submitted By eddys158
Words 338
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"Birth of a Nation" by D. W. Griffith was a great masterpiece. It was one of the most technologically advanced films ever made for it's time period. The film paved the way for the great film industry: showing its audiences the longest film they had ever seen and the most eventful. "Birth of a Nation" had such an impact on the American people that excluding "Gone With the Wind" it is thought to have the greatest influence on how Americans view that time period. "Birth of a Nation" is often seen as a leading cause in the race riots, rise of the KKK and segregation of the 1920's. Griffith was able to make such an influentially film by using noteworthy themes, distinct and believable messages and anachronistic cinematic techniques.
The themes in "Birth of a Nation" concentrate on race, class, gender, and region, the most influential and important theme being that blacks are stupid, crazy men who only want one thing: white women. Conversely, whites are portrayed as the "the helpless white minority". Griffith shows a black court and legislature, both are shown as an "outrage". The black men are loud, disorderly and drunk. In the legislature their "big" vote overrides the decision that black men cannot marry white women. On the street the stupid and drunk blacks are shown voting in a disrespectful and uncaring way, and the reformed and educated white males are seen not being able to vote. Griffith exaggerates true facts about confederate soldiers not being able to participate in the government and courts of the south after the civil war. By doing this it seem as if the south is being taken over by savage blacks who are causing anarchy.
The message that blacks cause anarchy and only want white women are played up even more throughout the film. The black soldiers are seen running through the streets terrorizing women and children and looting anything they can get their…...

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