Its awards chances were written off almost by fiat, and so, in a lot of circles, were its commercial chances.
For awhile, I couldn’t turn around without getting drawn into a conversation about the fate of “The Birth of a Nation,” and more than one of those conversations included speculation that the film might not even be released.
Nat doesn’t execute the rebellion like someone opening death’s door.
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That film was Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation.” I felt like I understood what the ovation was about, and though I didn’t join in, I applauded in my heart.
Parker, a gifted actor who was on the rise but hardly a marquee movie star, had beaten the odds to direct, produce, co-write, and play the lead role in a movie about one of the pivotal events in African-American history.
It’s that quality that winds up making “The Birth of a Nation” seem like a “cause” more than a soul-shaking drama.
I went to see the movie a second time on its first evening show on Thursday night.
The question has become: Which lens are you going to see it through?