The Birth of a Nation has sparked interest in the African-American community since it won two awards at The Sundance Film Festival in 2016. The story is centered around Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher who began one of America’s largest slave rebellions in U.S history. Some say the film was an epic failure due to director, producer and lead actor Nate Parker’s 1999 rape case and how he handled questions about the case. “As a rape survivor and as an advocate, I cannot shy away from this responsibility because the conversation got difficult,” said Gabrielle Union. Aunjanue Ellis, who plays Turner’s mother, understood why so many people would avoid going to see the movie. “No matter what we feel about it, no matter what the circumstances were, the presence of this movie and the circumstances surrounding it is causing somebody pain,” said Ellis.
The film is a master piece for those to learn and understand what is going in today’s society as well as what happened to our ancestors during that time. Many people who went to see the movie had great things to say about Nate Parker’s film. NBA Basketball Star Demarcus Cousins says the film is “excellent.” Despite all the negative reviews from critics and other celebrities, Cousins had good things to say and he also may go see it again. “What I took from it is the truth. When I saw all those postings (on social networks) I thought it was crazy. The movie ‘12 Years a Slave’ hit numbers. But when the truth comes out (about a rebellion) it doesn’t sell. To me, it was excellent” said Cousins.