Independent Lens (1999– )
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The story of William Monroe Trotter, the nearly forgotten editor of a Boston black newspaper who tried to ban the controversial film The Birth of a Nation (1915).

Directors:

Bestor Cram, Susan Gray

Writers:

Kwyn Bader, Dick Lehr
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Bob Bellinger Bob Bellinger ... Self
David Blight David Blight ... Self
Vincent Brown Vincent Brown ... Self
Dolita Cathcart Dolita Cathcart ... Self
Jelani Cobb ... Self
Ira Gallen Ira Gallen ... Self
Henry Louis Gates Jr. ... Self (as Henry Louis Gates)
Danny Glover ... Narrator
D.W. Griffith ... Self (archive footage)
Reginald Hudlin ... Self
Walter Huston ... Self (archive footage)
Spike Lee ... Self
Dick Lehr ... Self
Charles Musser ... Self
Sam Pollard ... Self (as Samuel D. Pollard)
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Storyline

The story of William Monroe Trotter, the nearly forgotten editor of a Boston black newspaper who tried to ban the controversial film The Birth of a Nation (1915).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Did You Know?

Connections

References The Answer (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

The Ride Of The Valkyrie
Composed by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
Informative Hour on Film Controversy
14 September 2018 | by lchadbou-326-26592See all my reviews

The Birth of a Movement is an informative and mostly accurate PBS documentary centering on a not so well known Boston based scholar and journalist who led an impassioned fight against the popular Griffith epic The Birth of a Nation at a time when the US civil rights struggle was just finding its footing.The accommodationist, compromising approach advocated by Booker T Washington was giving way to a more radical strategy argued for by W E B Du Bois, who had been a fellow Harvard graduate with the film,s subject (William Monroe Trotter) .After the film opened in Manhattan, Trotter tried to get Boston,s mayor Curley (later the hero of the Ford film The Last Hurrah) and a three member censorship board to cancel the Massachusetts premiere.In this aspect the documentary brings up the disturbing topic of the First Amendment and free expression even for offensive content.Talking heads give good context,especially when Vincent Brown tells us, "some of our greatest cultural products have also been some of our worst."


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Details

Release Date:

6 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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