Posted on 11/17/04 07:04 AM
Established many film techniques used today and legitimized film as "respectable" entertainment. ---
I had heard of this film mentioned by many critics. I had seen it listed on many Greatest Films lists. So naturally, I was intrigued enough to see it for myself. But let's get certain things out of the way first. Yes, I could see why this film would get such angry reactions from people throughout the decades. Blacks are seen as weird, preditory, and primitive, attacking innocent and helpless white women and children and making them jump off cliffs. If fact, the film paints such a heroic portrait of the Ku Klux Klan, and I am a little guilty in saying this but, if only for a second, I felt like cheering when the Klan was riding to the rescue in the climax. That frustrated me, it felt like propaganda for the racists. But yet, I can't fault a film on the basis of its creative opinion, no matter how wrong it might be. Filmmakers have fought for their artistic freedom all their lives and it wouldn't be my place to label this film as a misguided and offensive flop. But anyway, I think most film-buffs have gotten past all that crap.
For most of the movie-going public these days, we have not had much experience in silent black-and-white films, let alone a nearly three-hour long epic (without intermission). And the remarkable thing is, I never felt drowsy or antsy. My attention was constantly glued to the screen. The music, the expressions of the actors, and the lavish detail greatly helped me connect to the emotion the film was exuding. What am I saying, that was the emotion. This film truly was a huge technical achievement for its time and this has been pointed out on many sites to exasperating levels. Everyone should experience this landmark, even if for just to begin an interesting conversation.