Co-written, co-produced, directed by, and starring actor-turned-filmmaker Nate Parker, the dramatized chronicle of the Nat Turner slave rebellion of 1831 is one of the most ferocious — and righteous — of all cinematic “history lessons.” Parker portrays Virginia plantation slave and preacher Nat Turner with stoic strength, but it’s the film’s upending of D.W. Griffith’s Ku-Klux-Klan-glorifying racist “masterpiece” of the same name (1914) that really blisters the screen. Turner was the American Spartacus, and Parker’s Birth explains why in no uncertain terms. It’s a period melodrama from a shameful period, a cast-iron cauldron of hatred, mayhem, resistance, and retribution, with vivid performances by Aja Naomi King, Armie Hammer, Colman Domingo, Roger Guenveur Smith, and Aunjanue Ellis, among a large supporting cast. Co-written by Jean McGianni Celestin (120 min.).
Director: Nate Parker
Producer: Nate Parker, Kevin Turen, Jason Berman, Aaron Gilbert and Preston Holmes
Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Mark Boone Junior, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja King, Esther Scott, Roger Smith, Gabrielle Union, Penelope Miller, Jackie Haley, Tony Espinosa, Jayson Smith and Jason Stuart