Birth of a Nation and 19th Century Realism


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Essay #: 067613
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Birth of a Nation and 19th Century Realism
D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation is, by all accounts, one of the most important films of all time (Lang). Birth of a Nation was a groundbreaking film, not only for its demonstration of Griffith’s virtuoso skills as a film-maker but also because of its depiction of the noxious politics of American racism. Indeed, one of the reasons that Birth of a Nation has proven to generate so much unease in critics and viewers alike is that it combines the highest standard of film aesthetics with the vilest racial politics (Stokes 6). One natural question to ask of Birth of a Nation is whether, or to what extent, it was a depiction of truth, particularly in regard to its depiction of African...
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