The Birth of a Nation is set in 1831. Nat Turner, played by Nate Parker, is a slave who leads a violent uprising to free himself and others who are held captive in Southampton County, Virginia. This rebellion initiates violent retribution from whites and leads to the deaths of dozens of wealthy land and slave owners.
The Birth of a Nation – Official Teaser Trailer uploaded by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Nate Parker is the star of the film, but he is also the writer, producer and director. In fact, this is his directorial debut.
The cast includes Armie Hammer as Samuel Turner, Aja Naomi as Cherry, Jackie Earle Haley as Raymond Cobb, Penelope Ann Miller as Elizabeth Turner, and Gabrielle Union in a supporting role.
The film is considered highly controversial and, due to its nature, presented a significant challenge for Nate Parker to gather funds to get The Birth of a Nation made. He invested $100,000 of his own money and eventually found 11 groups of investors to finance 60% of the ten million dollar production budget.
The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in January and won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. The critical acclaim the film has already received has been monumental, and its not due to hit theaters until October 7th.
This is a first look at The Birth of a Nation, but stay tuned. Nate Parker has made a haunting, impressive blockbuster that will resonate for years to come.