in about 100 words or less
USA 190m, silent (B&W)
Director: D.W. Griffith: Cast: Lillian Gish, Henry B. Walthall, Mae Marsh, Miriam Cooper, Mary Alden
Despite Griffith’s inter-title pleas against censorship and his no-apologies attitude for the “history” that he is presenting, “The Birth of a Nation” is an ugly attempt to popularize a revisionist history based on racism, lies and hate. While Griffith is often credited by many as the father of the feature-length film on the basis of the many technical achievements found in Birth of a Nation, he can also be credited with the birth of the propaganda film, and establishing most of the black stereotypes that Hollywood has since portrayed. In view of these dubious “achievements”, the true value of this film is as an historical document which demonstrates the extent and depth of racism of the last century (Klaus Ming November 2008).