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This movie is a timecapsule of a past mostly remembered by civil unrest where the continent was fighting each other. D.W. Griffith shows us in the first ever film that truly surpassed the screening times of the olde nickelodeons the gritty realism of the American Civil War and the birth of the KKK.
It may have been a very loaded and, by today's standards, racist film, however it truly captures the feelingnof being an oppressed white in constant fear of a black revolution. As seen in this screengrab: https://photos.app.goo.gl/g5tbZn65kiNN1g7i7
It actually made me realize that the KKK HAD originally noble intentions, but the radicallism and racist overtures eventually overshadowed their more 'noble' beginnings of trying to save beleaguered whites.
As a non-American, non-white, non-black, and outsider to American history, this film paints the time of unsure people not knowing whether what they see in others of different color is a man or another animal. They only choose to believe that if others are not like them white peoples, then they must be non-humans.
I only disliked the dreary dragging first half, but I would still recommend it for the unique look into the era.
There are two Americas. This film praises the white supremacist narrative.
Racist propaganda that led to the rise of the KKK and terrorization of communities throughout the nation.
Just cuz the turd was new doesn't make it any less a turd
horrifying. This film actually inspired the founding of the modern KKK (after it had been disbanded in the 1870s)
I recognize the historical significance of this movie. But historical significance can, and should, be viewed through our modern lens. In that way, this movie is truly horrid. Prior to its release, the KKK was in sharp decline, broke, irrelevant, and on the verge of extinction. This movie breathed new life into an odious organization, one recognized by the US government as a domestic terrorist organization at the time it was released. The movie should be regarded for what it is, a propaganda film aimed at ginning up racial resentments whose odious premise has led to horrid mistreatment of minorities that echoes to this day.
Just the worst movie.
Accurate depiction of history is the only thing that saves this movie from terrible technical skills.
You really need to be able to give 2 ratings for this film - the quality of the filmmaking is unquestionably five star, and the three hours zipped by. The second half, though, is racist propaganda so extreme, and so thoroughly realised (in plot, intertitles, visuals, everything) that it might make Goebbels blush. Perhaps it should be played in a double bill with Jud Suess to compare and contrast popular American and Nazi racist propaganda? Because what's elswhere usually just hinted at is here on full display. Griffith is not far off saying that race hatred was what put (white) America back together again after the divisive trauma of the Civil War.
The best, GREATEST epic movie ever made!