The Birth of a Nation Reviews

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June 3, 2019
A film that deserves, no demands, to be acknowledged, if for no other reason than to come to terms with the racist history it represents.
November 1, 2018
While it's clear that D.W. Griffith's The Birth Of A Nation is a seminal work of narrative filmmaking and will forever live in infamy as a result (being seen by new eyes generation after generation) that doesn't mean one can't wish it were never made.
June 17, 2018
As a work of art, it is unforgettable; as a social document, it is unforgivable. Quality of Movie: 4 stars. Content of Movie: 1 star.
September 21, 2014
D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation is as much a part of film history as the Civil War is a part of American history.
August 19, 2013
Problematically, Birth of a Nation wasn't just a seminal commercial spectacle but also a decisively original work of art -- in effect, the founding work of cinematic realism, albeit a work that was developed to pass lies off as reality.
August 19, 2013
The quasi-Victorian Griffith was in so many respects way ahead of his time even if his philosophy and mind-set could often be said to be behind it.
August 19, 2013
A towering milestone in the history of cinema. Asentimentalised, reactionary slab of racism. Can a film be both? In the case of D.W. Griffith's silent-era classic The Birth Of A Nation, unfortunately it can.
August 19, 2013
The Birth of a Nation has become a staple of any film studies course, for its excellent performances, thrilling action sequences and epic landscapes. However it's subject matter is much more controversial now.
August 19, 2013
This is an impressive spectacle, rightfully lauded for its myriad innovations. But the sentiments it expresses are pretty damn ugly.
August 19, 2013
It's hard to applaud a film where the Ku Klux Klan rides triumphantly to the rescue, and this, alas, undoes all the sterling work put in earlier and the wonderful performances from Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B Walthall and especially Robert Harron.
February 6, 2008
Birth of a Nation is a great epoch in picture making; it's great for pictures and it's great for the name and fame of David Wark Griffith. When a man like Griffith in a new field can do what he has done, he may as well be hailed while he is living.
February 6, 2008
Griffith's later films are unquestionably superior. But here, in a very real sense, is where the movies began, both as an art and as a business.
July 3, 2007
Links the divide between American past and American present.
August 20, 2006
a masterpiece that still packs a punch and whose standard-bearing genius remains untarnished.
July 12, 2006
What does it say about a country that one of its greatest films is also one of the most bigoted movies ever made? ... If you can ignore the actors in blackface and the vicious stereotypes, Griffith's folly is also a triumph of silent film technique.
May 2, 2006
Like it or not, its tremendous influence can't be denied.
Top Critic
March 25, 2006
The civil war battle pictures, taken in panorama, represent enormous effort and achieve a striking degree of success.
Top Critic
February 9, 2006
The biggest challenge the film provided for its audiences is perhaps to decide when 'ground-breaking, dedicated, serious cinematic art' must be reviled as politically reprehensible.
October 21, 2005
Racist yet an incredibly important landmark film.
September 24, 2005
shocks audiences with its blatant racism yet remains one of the defining films of the silent era.
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