Monday, November 18, 2019

Controversy in the movie The Birth of a Nation and how it effected Essay

Controversy in the movie The Birth of a Nation and how it effected Jazz and blues for that time period - Essay Example The movie was in controversy even during its making and Griffith could release it after he took permission from the court. The NAACP even managed to have some of the movie's harshest scenes deleted particularly a scene proposing that blacks be sent back to Africa to keep the nation free from these violent and brutish forces ( par 5). The Birth of a Nation: Scenes that provoked protests: The controversial scenes from movie have incited racial crimes, protests and till date the screening of movie faces difficulties. The scene where a former black slave crudely proposes Fiona, A white girl and daughter of Cameron family. She turns down the proposal and runs into the forest. Gus pursues her and when the girl is trapped, seeing no way out she jumps to death to avoid being raped. The Klansmen search Gus, lynch him and leave the corpse at the doorstep of Silas Lynch. The Blacks are shown as violent, sexual miscreants in the movie, which enraged people. In yet another scene The Mulatto leader, Silas Lynch, who was governor to South, forces Elsie, the daughter of his mentor Austin Stoneman, to marry him. He traps her on her refusal and when Klansmen come to know his designs they ride to rescue her. Incidentally the rescue of Elsie is the highlight of movie as well. Here two sequences run parallel viz. Klansmen riding to rescue the girl and Lynch's military searching for Cameron boys and other Klansmen. There are other scenes where the whites of north are sheltered for 'Aryan Birthright' by Whites of south though they had been enemies earlier in the civil war (in Birth of a Nation by Griffith). The portrayal of the Klan in the movie also created a firestorm of controversy. In the movie, they are the heroes, saving their community from the violent, bloodthirsty Negroes. The movie is accused of reactivating the dormant Klan. The movie ends with the suppression of the black threat to white society by the glorified Ku Klux Klan (KKK). Which helped to subside some of America's fears about the rise of defiant, strong and sexual black men and the repeal of laws forbidding interracial marriage. The 'birth' (Shortened from full name of the movie) made many critics to Griffith's work so he made a sequel, almost equally magnificent four story epic about human intolerance titled Intolerance (1916). A group of i ndependent black filmmakers replied with director Emmett J. Scott's The Birth of a Race in 1919, A film to counterbalance the impact of Griffith's masterpiece, to show a more positive image of African-Americans, but it could not attract much public attention. Instead, black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux's first film, the feature-length The Homesteader (1919), and Within Our Gates (1919) proved more effective in rectifying the black image projected in Griffith's film (Dirk par 8). The controversies about 'The Birth of a Nation': In its absolutely idolized presentation of the KKK as heroes and Southern blacks as antisocial elements threatening to destroy the society by their violent behavior. Blacks were shown as villains and rapists. The

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