“Brethren, I pray you sing a new song”
I first heard about this film when it made waves at the Sundance film festival earlier this year, receiving standing ovations, mass praise, and an extremely competitive bidding war for what is sure to be a serious awards contender this year. The Birth of a Nation is written, directed and stars Nate Parker in what is sure to be an incredible directorial debut. Despite all the press concerning the reaction of the film, this is the first time where we can see a glimpse of why we should all get so excited.
This trailer at first glance resembles the 2013 masterpiece 12 Years a Slave, this film clearly does not hold back in any way of depicting the horrifying reality that was American slavery. If this film is able to emulate even a fraction of the power that 12 Years had, it is sure to be an incredibly emotional film. The film depicts the story of Nat Turner, a slave preacher who orchestrates a rebellion of slaves against their captors. Parker portrays Turner and throughout the trailer we can see the breaking of Turner’s resolve to be a puppet of the slave masters, one of the more powerful images of the trailer being two children playing with a noose as Turner watches on, broken.
At the turning point of the trailer, Turner gives a rousing sermon as we get glimpses of the slave uprising finishing with two sides charging each other brandishing weapons. This trailer also changes its pace and music signifying that Turner and his fellow slaves are fighting to reclaim their identities and their lives. I am definitely excited to this film, I don’t know the story of Nat Turner but the first look at The Birth of Nation gives me absolute confidence that it will be nothing short of an epic.
The Birth of a Nation is released 20th January 2017
Trailer Score: 4/5