It is something to be the talk of the Sundance Film Festival, land the largest acquisition deal to date and be a film already considered to be a lock for major Oscar contention. That is just what Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation has done. Parker writes, directs, produces and stars in this film depicting the story of Nat Turner, the African-American slave who led a rebellion in Virginia during the 1830s. A lot has been said since the film made its Sundance debut and know we can all get a look at the first trailer.
From what can be seen, for a film that was made independently by Parker, he has done plenty to put out a film that is evocative in both its visuals and the nature of them. While depicting a harsh period in time, these couple minutes are quite striking in terms of the use of color, contrast and other efforts to deliver this period drama setting. Parker is joined on screen by Armie Hammer, Jackie Earle Haley, Penelope Ann Miller and Gabrielle Union, among others and everyone seems to look the part.
Of course, one of the more notable aspects is the subject matter and what it could potentially do to serve as a both a look at a dramatization of a real person and how it connects to society today. It is no coincidence that Parker has titled the film The Birth of a Nation and I am certainly most intrigued to learn what Parker plans on delivering in regards to his thoughts on societal problems and how they have or have not evolved over the decades.
Key images such as a little white girl leading a little black girl by a leash certainly stands out, along with the potential visceral thrill that comes from seeing Turner and many slaves begin to rush after a group of angry white men, who are also looking to fight. It should be interesting to say the least, likely quite depressing, but hopefully very well done.
The Birth of a Nation arrives in theaters October 7, 2016.