Sunday, June 01, 2008

Movie review: The Birth of a Nation

1915 Silent Classic, offensive social theme unredeemed by cinematic quality.

I've heard for years that this film is a classic in the history of film. That may well be. Certainly it's a landmark in terms of cutaway shots, fades, primitive special effects (cutting-edge in their time). Can I just say that Lillian Gish is absolutely luminous? Classically beautiful.

None of that detracts from the offensive racism and politics so fervently embraced in the plot.

Even my fascination with film and appreciation of history don't allow me to see past the awful theme.

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