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The Birth of a Nation


Heavenly Father, we've come to thank you for your word and your will.
You listen to him and you might just make it into heaven.
Submit yourselves to your masters with all respect.
Brethren, I pray you sing a new song.
Sing praise in the assembly of the righteous.
Let the saints be joyful in glory.
Let the high praise of God be on the mouths of the saints and a two-edged sword in their hand to execute vengeance on the demonic nations and punishment on those peoples to bind their kings with chains!
This honor have all His saints!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!
Sing to Him a new song!


ナット・ターナーまたは単にナット(英:Nat Turner、1800年 10月2日 - 1831年 11月11日)は、アメリカ合衆国の奴隷であり、奴隷反乱の指導者である。通常はナットと呼ばれていたので、以下ではナットと表記する。ナットの反乱は1831年、バージニア州のサザンプトン郡で起こり、アンテベラム(南北戦争に向かう時代)の南部では最も注目された黒人の反抗事例となった(ナット・ターナーの反乱(英語版))。ナットが蜂起中に行った入念な白人市民の殺戮はその伝記を議論の多いものにしているが、現在でも抑圧に反抗した黒人の英雄であると多くの者に見なされている。生まれた時のナットは姓が無く、単に名前のナットだけで記録されていた。当時の一般的な習慣に従って、その所有者サミュエル・ターナーの姓を付けて呼ばれている。


Sundance Film Review: ‘The Birth of a Nation’
Chief Film Critic Justin Chang

JANUARY 25, 2016 | 09:05PM PT
Debuting writer-director Nate Parker stars in this searingly impressive account of the Nat Turner slave rebellion.
It speaks to his ambition that the writer, director, producer and actor Nate Parker chose to title his slavery drama “The Birth of a Nation,” though the film would be a significant achievement by any name. Arriving more than a century after D.W. Griffith’s epic lit up the screen with racist images forever destined to rankle and provoke, this powerfully confrontational account of Nat Turner’s life and the slave rebellion he led in 1831 seeks to purify and reclaim a motion-picture medium that has only just begun to treat America’s “peculiar institution” with anything like the honesty it deserves. If “12 Years a Slave” felt like a breakthrough on that score, then Parker’s more conventionally told but still searingly impressive debut feature pushes the conversation further still: A biographical drama steeped equally in grace and horror, it builds to a brutal finale that will stir deep emotion and inevitable unease. But the film is perhaps even more accomplished as a theological provocation, one that grapples fearlessly with the intense spiritual convictions that drove Turner to do what he had previously considered unthinkable.


1831 in Virginia Nat Turner leads slave rebellion hoping to spark slave uprising in the South. Dozens of whites are killed before the violent revolt is quickly defeated. Turner is later captured, tried and hunged.

Turner, Nat
(1800-31) a US slave who organized a successful revolt (=an attack against people in authority) against Southern slave owners in 1831. He was caught and later hanged for his actions.

Nat Turner
(1800-1831) a US slave who in 1831 led a group of slaves to murder over 50 white people in Southampton County, Virginia. This was called the Southampton Insurrection. Turner and 16 other slaves were hanged. The murders almost ended abolitionism in the South and led to strict new laws to control slaves. see also William Styron


The Birth of a Nation review – slavery epic as brutal as Braveheart
With a provocative title and a timely focus on America’s history of slavery, this is Sundance’s most talked-about film. If only it were less heavy-handed
The story of Nat Turner had profound consequences for America. The slave who became a preacher and then, in 1831, the leader of a revolt is said to have triggered a chain of events that included the civil war and the abolition of slavery less than 35 years later. For Nate Parker – writer, director and star of The Birth of a Nation – it’s been a seven-year journey to get his film made, and with a title provocatively taken from DW Griffith’s famously racist 1915 film about the foundations of America and the current furore around diversity in Hollywood, the timing of its premiere couldn’t have been any better. This is an alternative history of America’s roots which spits in the face of Griffith’s account.

1915年の映画史に残るD W Griffithの名作・迷作のタイトルをあえてつけたことで野心の大きさを感じることができます。ロングマンの紹介は事実を述べているだけですが、オックスフォードの紹介はその作品が持つ反響や影響も付け加えてくれるので意味合いをつかむのに助かります。

The Birth of a Nation
a US silent film (1915) by D W Griffith. It tells the story of the American Civil War and the period of Reconstruction after it. Although it was a great success and influenced later films, it made the Ku Klux Klan seem good, and there was violence in several US cities when it was shown.

Griffith, D.W.
(1875-1948) one of the greatest US film directors, famous especially for inventing new ways of making films and of using the camera. His films include Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916).

New Yorkerの記事で映画の文法を取り上げていましたが1915年の“The Birth of a Nation”はまさに映画の文法を作り上げた映画でもあったようです。

“The Birth of a Nation” was a landmark in motion picture history—full of technological innovations and new storytelling techniques, including flashbacks, crosscutting, dissolves, closeups, panoramic filming, and color tinting

DECEMBER 13, 2015
A Hundred Years Later, “The Birth of a Nation” Hasn’t Gone Away


A hundred years ago, on February 8, 1915, D. W. Griffith released “The Birth of a Nation.” The movie became the fledgling film industry’s first blockbuster. It ran for over three hours at a time when most films were not longer than ten minutes. It had employed eighteen thousand people and used three thousand horses during filming, and the finished product had five thousand discrete scenes. It was the first film to allocate money for an advertising campaign. Griffith wanted his film to resemble the high art of theater, so he hired a full orchestra to play the film’s soundtrack in certain movie houses. Griffith succeeded. “The Birth of a Nation” was a landmark in motion picture history—full of technological innovations and new storytelling techniques, including flashbacks, crosscutting, dissolves, closeups, panoramic filming, and color tinting, all of which heightened the dramatic and emotional effects. The film grossed somewhere between thirteen and eighteen million dollars (roughly three hundred to four hundred and fifty million dollars today). In March, 1915, under President Woodrow Wilson, “The Birth of a Nation” became the first film to be screened at the White House.

単に白人至上主義の人種差別主義の映画だったら過去の遺物で済んだのですが、映画芸術的には無視できない作品なので厄介なようです。そのあたりをThe Worst Thing About “Birth of a Nation” Is How Good It Isと表しています。

FEBRUARY 1, 2013
The Worst Thing About “Birth of a Nation” Is How Good It Is