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The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation
  • #: 221162
  • Price: $0.99 In Apple Store
  • Category: Entertainment
  • Updated: 2010-08-20
  • Current Version: 1.2
  • 1.2
  • Size: 393.00 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: B.I.A. Films Ltd
  • Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
  • © 2010 B.I.A. Films
  •  Add to Favorite apps

 

Description

The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 silent film directed by D. W. Griffith. Set during and after the American Civil War, the film is based on Thomas Dixon's The Clansman, a novel and play.

The Birth of a Nation was the highest-grossing film of its day, and is noted for its innovative camera techniques and narrative achievements.

The film is controversial due to its interpretation of history. The film suggests that the Ku Klux Klan restored order to the post-war South, which was depicted as endangered by abolitionists, freedmen, and carpetbagging Republican politicians from the North.

W. E. B. Du Bois and other black historians vigorously disputed this interpretation when the film was released. Most historians of all backgrounds today agree with them, as they note African Americans' loyalty and contributions during the Civil War years and Reconstruction, including the establishment of universal public education.

The film was originally presented in two parts separated by an intermission. Part 1 depicted pre-Civil War America, introducing two juxtaposed families: the Northern Stonemans, consisting of abolitionist Congressman Austin Stoneman (based on real-life Reconstruction-era Congressman Thaddeus Stevens), his two sons, and his daughter, Elsie, and the Southern Camerons, a family including two daughters (Margaret and Flora) and three sons, most notably Ben.

The Stoneman boys visit the Camerons at their South Carolina estate, representing the Old South. The eldest Stoneman boy falls in love with Margaret Cameron, and Ben Cameron idolises a picture of Elsie Stoneman.

When the Civil War begins, all the young men join their respective armies. A black militia (with a white leader) ransacks the Cameron house. The Cameron women are rescued when Confederate soldiers rout the militia. Meanwhile, the youngest Stoneman and two Cameron boys are killed in the war. Ben Cameron is wounded after a heroic battle in which he gains the nickname, "the Little Colonel, " by which he is referred for the rest of the film. The Little Colonel is taken to a Northern hospital where he meets Elsie, who is working there as a nurse. The war ends and Abraham Lincoln is assassinated at Ford's Theater, allowing Austin Stoneman and other radical congressmen to punish the South for secession, using radical measures Griffith depicts as typical of the Reconstruction era.

Part 2 depicts Reconstruction. Stoneman and his "mulatto" protegé, Silas Lynch, go to South Carolina to observe the expanded franchise. Black soldiers parade through the streets. During the election, whites are shown being turned away while blacks stuff the ballot boxes.

The film continues in a similar vein but ultimately ends on a suppsed message of reconciliation.

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The information may be outdated (2011-04-27 23:20:08). For actual information go to iTunes

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