Remember the name Nate Parker.
A few months ago at Sundance, Nate Parker’s THE BIRTH OF A NATION absolutely floored audiences. It walked away with the Grand Jury and Audience award, meaning it was the favorite by both critics and general movie goers. Fox Searchlight won the rights to it after paying a hefty sum of 17.5 million, by far the most in festival history.
Parker wrote, directed, and produced the film which tells the story of Nat Turner, a slave who is taught to read and becomes a preacher for a plantation owner. Turner is sent around the country for financial purposes and sees the atrocities being committed to his brethren and starts an uprising. You’re probably going to want to prepare yourself for the fury that comes with watching America’s checkered past regarding race relations.
Parker chose the name ‘The Birth of a Nation’ intentionally as it shared the title of a Ku Klux Klan propaganda film from 1915. He said, “I’ve reclaimed this title and re-purposed it as a tool to challenge racism and white supremacy in America, to inspire a riotous disposition toward any and all injustice in this country (and abroad) and to promote the kind of honest confrontation that will galvanize our society toward healing and sustained systemic change.”
Expect to hear about THE BIRTH OF A NATION a lot when it hits theatres October 7, 2016 in the heart of awards season. I suspect the two Sundance accolades won’t be the only ones associated with it for much longer.