It's New Year's Eve. Three drunkards evoke a legend. The legend tells that the last person to die in a year, if he is a great sinner, will have to drive during the whole year the Phantom ... See full summary »
Two brothers, Phil and Ted Stoneman, visit their friends in Piedmont, South Carolina: the family Cameron. This friendship is affected by the Civil War, as the Stonemans and the Camerons must join up opposite armies. The consequences of the War in their lives are shown in connection to major historical events, like the development of the Civil War itself, Lincoln's assassination, and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. Written by
Victor Munoz <email@example.com>
The South Carolina coastline does not have bluffs overlooking the ocean. See more »
[Northern solider is trying to keep wounded Ben's mother out of hospital]
I am going into that room to my boy. You may shoot if you want to.
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The following was listed in the opening credits: A PLEA FOR THE ART OF THE MOTION PICTURE: We do not fear censorship, for we have no wish to offend with improprieties or obscenities, but we do demand, as a right, the liberty to show the dark side of wrong, that we may illuminate the bright side of virtue - the same liberty that is conceeded to the art of the written word - that art to which we owe the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. See more »
Perhaps it is fitting that the first American Masterpiece, is also one of the most controversial films ever made.
D. W. Griffith may not have invented every single technique used in Birth of a Nation (that is a hotly debated topic, since other filmmakers were also experimenting with similar techniques at around the same time), but he nonetheless provided a seemless use of closeups,panning shots, cross cutting and other devices we now take for granted, and put them in a package that made it seem like it was *the* natural way for a director to tell a story in film. And in fact it has been the natural way directors have told stories for the last 87 years.
It's unfortunate that the visionary scope of this picture has been overshadowed of late by the rising tide of Political Correctness in America. There is no doubt that bad racial stereotyping occurs throughout the movie. And our vantage point from the present can easily see that the Ku Klux Klan are not the right people to set up as "saviors" of the ways of the Old South.
But to appreciate this movie, one must watch with the hindsight of history. Griffith was the son of a confederate solder, the War Between the States was still within living memory for many Americans in 1915. And let's face it... Reconstruction was deliberately demeaning and punishing to the South. This was not Lincoln's fault at the film clearly states, but it was the policy of the Union towards the South after his death. The resentment of this treatment was still alive in Griffith and many others living in the early 20th century.
If one can put the subject matter into the context of the times the film was made, they will find a stirring melodrama with tremendous scope, and the Birth of modern movie making.
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