D. W. Griffith's Film The Birth Of A Nation

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Originally titled The Clansman, the film The Birth of a Nation premiered on the 8th of February 1915. To this day it is considered the most racist film ever. Film Director D.W. Griffith intended to demonstrate how the Civil War and Reconstruction would lead to the United States becoming a unified nation. Silent films did not interest many people, nor could they understand the purpose of having the lives of two families collide during the Civil War. By only showing actions, facial expressions, and gestures, viewers had the power to interpret the meaning of certain scenes in their own way, which left plenty of room for criticism on the overall message of the story.
The portrayal of this film of African Americans was simply racist. In the few …show more content…

The depiction of African-Americans in Griffith's film was not seen as wrong according to the law since he had the right to express himself in whatever way he wanted. People would debate on whether this was morally correct and if this film should be considered a form of freedom of speech/expression. In the process of attempting to ban his film, people realized that a limitation needed to be set for freedom of expression. Griffith knew that most viewers would be against his film, but he saw the premiere of The Birth of a Nation as an influential message to millions. Overall Griffith’s message to the public was that Whites were still superior and that if anyone should be hated, it should be African …show more content…

blacks in many cities rebelled in a violent manner which did not resolve anything. The existence of racism had already been demonstrated hundreds of times in public before this film was released. Looking back at Griffith’s purpose, it seems that he wanted to see a reaction from Africans in order to prove himself right about what they really were. The injustice and inequality African Americans faced was a constant weight that was put on their shoulders. A reaction was expected from them because sooner or later they would have had enough of being treated with no

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