By Mandela Wells
Before I begin I want to make very clear that I’m on Nate Parker’s side with his whole controversy he is a talented brotha who was acquitted of case from 17 YEARS AGO NOT NOW!!!!!! This man does not deserve to be condemned like this. With that being said, Nat Turner is a name not many of us knew about from the slavery era. We’ve learned about the Fredrick Douglas’, the Sojourner Truth’s, the Harriet Tubman’s, but not Nat Turner. After researching a bit about this man, I realized that, “Damn! we should have learned about him in school.” Nate Parker bringing this man and his story to life was definitely needed now with “The Birth of a Nation.“ With the state of race relations, Nate Parker makes a poignant contribution to the conversation with this movie that serves as a major reminder of what could happen in the future.
Parker directs, writes and acts in this biopic story on Nat Turner, a slave preacher who grew up in the home of Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer). Throughout his life, Nat witnesses many appalling acts of brutality towards his people. After another one that truly hits home Nat decides that he has had enough and rounds up a group of other slaves to fight back and leads them into battle against the slave owners and families in Southhampton, Virginia.
I loved this film! Both spiritual and powerful, this is the most important film of this entire year. No other film in my opinion will be as crucial and important to watch as this one. Such an incredibly well adapted story. The film speaks major volumes in terms of reflecting on the brutality here in the present with the police, racist killers like Dylan Roof and George Zimmerman, as well as other mass killings. I think Nate Parkers directing as well as his overall message was trying to get across that if we don’t find a solution against this injustice these brutalities against black people that its very possible another Nat Turner will rise again and start a war against those who commit these heinous acts and it will lead to a horrific future as far as race relations go
Acting wise Nate Parker gave a monumental and impactful performance as Nat Turner. Turner his whole life kept repeatedly seeing the brutality on his people and as he became a man who after reading the bible for so long, found his true mission in leading the rebellion against evil men. He captured the endurance, the anguish, and the passionate fire that Turner inspired in every colored person in Southhampton. Religion played a major role in this film and its utilized more than in previous slave films. In ones darkest hour god is who one can turn to for guidance and Nat did his whole slave life.
Armie Hammer did a pretty fine job here as well. He was an interesting character as he seemed to be somewhat sympathetic of Nate and his other slaves. He reminded me a bit of Benedict Cumberbatch‘s character from “12 Years a Slave.” Aja Naomi King makes a decent debut in this film. She played her part in being the final trigger that makes Nat realizes he has to do something and quick.
Fantastic cinematography especially of the cotton fields. The misty, dark and artsy shots in the woods were amazing to watch. it was also edited very well. Kill all that noise about Nate Parker and its controversy, its very important you go see “The Birth of a Nation.”