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Andrew Stewart: BIRTH OF A NATION: A Flawed Film You Must See | | Rhode Island Media Cooperative
The author of this piece totally acknowledges that white privilege and supremacy can and do play a major role in the act of film criticism. Nate Parker's BIRTH OF A NATION is a profoundly difficult film to process. Trying to write about it with any sense of removal from it is foolish because it is, above all else, a piece of cinematic art generated not in order to represent just the Nat Turner rebellion but also the degradation of black manhood in the mainstream white supremacist media over the past eight years under the first African American president, the sometimes target and sometimes proponent of this degradation. Near the end of the film, Turner's wife says that innocent blacks are getting killed across the county purely on account of the Turner rebellion having taken place. That is not just a statement about 1831, it is about 2016 and the death of black and brown people across America who are being killed still by cops who go unpunished. Yet we must look to Parker's own