Birth of a Nation: D.W. Griffith and today’s Far-Right Imagination

I”ve just watched D.W. Griffith”s The Birth of a Nation, a film that I”ve often heard about but not seen until now. It”s a disturbing and disconcerting experience, not just because of its rampantly white supremacist view of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction period, but because it really is an exceptional film on so many levels.

Griffith’s direction is dazzling and innovative, and sometimes nothing short of astounding considering the technical limitations of the period. He combines expressive close ups to convey subtle emotional nuances with panoramic and brilliantly orchestrated battle scenes, chases, crowd scenes, and riots…

My ‘Notes from the Margins’ piece for Ceasefire Magazine.   You can read the whole piece here

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