Tag Archives: Birth of a Nation

Homework #3: Birth of a Nation and Controversial Films

Poster for first showing of Birth of a Nation in Seattle, c. 1915
Poster for first showing of Birth of a Nation in Seattle, c. 1915

At home and in class, we screen excerpts of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation in class, a movie that was first screened 100 years ago. The racist content of the film invoked protest across the nation, led primarily by the newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The combination of Griffith’s remarkable artistry, distorted historical accounts, and overt racism produced sickening propaganda for the Ku Klux Klan. Listen to a short NPR report on the legacy of the Birth of a Nation. For an example of the impact of Griffith’s film on a recent movie, see Henry Louis Gates’ interview of Quentin Tarantino on Django Unchained (2012)

NPR report on Birth of  a Nation

Gates’ interview with Quentin Tarantino

Share with your classmates other examples of controversial films that have evoked protests in the past. Do you know of movies that have caused similar demonstrations or complaints about content?

To complete this homework assignment, note whether you Post or Comment. For Homework #3, Clubs and Hearts will submit a Post and Diamonds and Spades will Comment (choose any of your classmates’ posts to comment on).

Homework #3 is DUE by Thursday September 24th.
 Clubs and Hearts Post, Diamonds and Spades Comment, note your blog group! Email me if you forget.