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The Birth of a Nation (2016)

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Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher in the antebellum South, orchestrates an uprising.


Nate Parker


Nate Parker (screenplay by), Nate Parker (story by) | 1 more credit »
4 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nate Parker ... Nat Turner
Armie Hammer ... Samuel Turner
Penelope Ann Miller ... Elizabeth Turner
Jackie Earle Haley ... Raymond Cobb
Mark Boone Junior ... Reverend Walthall (as Mark Boone Jr.)
Colman Domingo ... Hark
Aunjanue Ellis ... Nancy
Dwight Henry ... Isaac Turner
Aja Naomi King ... Cherry
Esther Scott ... Bridget
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Isaiah
Gabrielle Union ... Esther
Tony Espinosa ... Young Nat Turner
Jayson Warner Smith ... Earl Fowler
Jason Stuart ... Joseph Randall


Set against the antebellum South, THE BIRTH OF A NATION follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat's preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities - against himself and his fellow slaves - Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on a true story about the quest for freedom. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site


USA | Canada



Release Date:

7 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El nacimiento de una nación See more »

Filming Locations:

Savannah, Georgia, USA


Box Office


$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,625,000, 7 October 2016

Gross USA:

$15,858,754, 2 December 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Norman Jewison tried to establish a film project about the life of Nat Turner in 1969. See more »


Nat quotes says he is quoting from Peter 2:18, the correct book of the bible that he quotes from is 1 Peter 2:18. See more »


Title Card: Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever - Thomas Jefferson, 1785
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References The Birth of a Nation (1915) See more »


by Nas feat. Raye
(p) 2016 Atlantic Recording outside of the United Statesand WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.
© 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Historical and epic film about ¨Nat Turner's Rebellion¨ , it was a slave rebellion that took place in Southampton County, Virginia, during August 1831
30 March 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

A good film , though it has extremely violent events , sadism , physical abuse , lynchings and other racist excesses . Nat Turner's Rebellion , also known as the Southampton Insurrection , is set against the antebellum South , it follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher , he was highly intelligent and learned how to read and write at a young age and he grew up deeply religious and was often seen fasting , praying or immersed in reading the stories of the Bible . Then , his financially strained owner , Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer) , accepts an offer to use Nat's preaching to subdue unruly slaves . Later on , there takes place the brutal sexual assault by white men on Turner's wife (Aja Naomi King) , it feeds a rage that sets the rebellion in motion . Soon after, , Nat leads a slave rebellion that took place in Southampton County , Virginia, during August 1831 . As Nat orchestrates an Southern uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom .

The film packs crude scenes full of brutality and cruelty in which the African-American slaves suffer humiliations , flagellation , beating , degradation , and mistreats by their owners . As Nat Turner witnesses countless atrocities - against himself and his fellow slaves . As Nat Turner well played by Nat Parker carries out an upheaval against the ruthless proprietaries in the antebellum South , this rebellion occurred in Southampton Co. VA. August 21- 23, 1831 . Nat Parker gives an acceptable acting as the literate slave and preacher who orchestrates a bloody riot . Support is frankly fine , such as : Penélope Anne Miller , Aja Naomi King , Gabrielle Union , Mark Boone Junior , Colman Domingo , Aunjanue Ellis , Dwight Henry , and special mention for Jackie Earle Haley as the villain slave hunter Raymond Cobb , among others . It displays a thrilling as well as sensitive musical score by Henry Jackman , adding evocative African songs . Colorful cinematography by Elliot Davis , being shot on a former plantation between Springfield and Clyo, Georgia, about thirty miles north of Savannah . The picture was well shot by Nat Parker and it was filmed in a month , approx . Nat has filmed with all of the power and realism at its command but some scenes in exploitation style , including strong tortures , lashing , rape , grisly killings and many other things .

This ¨The birth of a nation¨ is correctly based on true events , these are the followings : Turner rebellion was, according to his own writings, based on spiritual visions . Turner had various visions , as "the Saviour was about to lay down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and the great day of judgment was at hand" . Nat attempts 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 . Led by Nat Turner, he started with several trusted fellow slaves, and ultimately gathered more than 70 enslaved and free blacks, some of whom were mounted on horseback . The rebels traveled from house to house, freeing slaves and killing all the white people they encountered. Because the rebels did not want to alert anyone, they discarded their muskets and used knives, hatchets, axes, and blunt instruments instead of firearms. The rebel slaves killed from 55 to 65 people, the highest number of fatalities caused by any slave uprising in the Southern United States. A white militia with twice the manpower of the rebels and reinforced by three companies of artillery eventually defeated the insurrection . The rebellion was put down within a few days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months afterwards . The rebellion was effectively suppressed at Belmont Plantation on the morning of August 23, 1831. There was widespread fear in the aftermath of the rebellion, and white militias organized in retaliation against the slaves. The state executed 56 slaves accused of being part of the rebellion . In the frenzy, many non-participant slaves were punished . Approximately 120 slaves and free African Americans were murdered by militias and mobs in the área . Across the South, state legislatures passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free black people, restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for free black people, and requiring white ministers to be present at all worship services.

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