Monday, July 29, 2013

1915 - Birth of a Nation

This was the wrong time to pause the project and watch other movies. Because when I finally couraged-up and watched Birth of a Nation, I was like "okay, this is a movie." I should have been like "HOLY SH*T THIS IS A MOVIE! I haven't seen a movie yet!" A massive, unbelievably ambitious movie with aerial views of full-on battle scenes, covering the entire civil war and Lincoln assassination in the first half. Oh and it's super racist. But you probably know all that business already.

Anyway, the innovations I was most struck by were the cold open, the non-apology:

And a woman storing a note in her.... I assume bra?
Can you even show that in movies now?

Oh, also, men could express their love for other men by caressing them, without an intertitle that says "NOHOMO":

If you spend your two-minutes hate on Free Republic like I do, you'll recognize how unbelievably up-to-date the themes in the second half of the film are. Voter ID laws are necessary because blacks Democrats will all sneakily double vote, like this guy:
... and violently prevent whites from voting, while both blacks and carpetbaggers pretend not to notice.

This is a problem because when blacks and carpetbaggers usurped power they disgraced the noble legislature by flagrantly drinking booze, eating chicken, taking off their shoes, and celebrating outrageous laws that destroy the family and lead inexorably to white women getting raped by power-mad mulattoes:

Then there's the inevitable result of George Zimmerman's acquittal:

The central message of the Republicans' 2012 campaign is neatly summed up by this intertitle, outlining what will happen now that Obama and the Democrats are left in charge of the country:

Or, in the version the GOP-establishment is too PC to come out and say,:

Freepers aren't helpless, of course: They know that if the crazed, free-supply-getting negroes do start race-riots, they'll fight back and probably win. Or at least, commenters 14, 15, 19, 22, 23, 28, 32, 35, 38, 44, and 49 do. (Though freepers, of course, hate the modern KKK, that bunch of evil, racist Democrats.)

So, is the film crazy racist? Yes. Is it crazy anachronistic? Not to everyone.