birth-of-a-nation

Starring: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Penelope Ann Miller, Gabrielle Union, Mark Boone Junior

OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆

Story: Period drama written, produced and directed by Nate Parker. Set against the antebellum South, the movie follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker) who as a slave boy, is taught to read so he can study the Bible and be a preacher to fellow slaves. Then his financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), decides to accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves and to profit from his preaching. But as Nat witnesses countless atrocities, against himself and his fellow slaves, Nat decides to orchestrate an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.

Verdict: The movie is a good effort on the part of Nate Parker with a really talented cast, but it’s not an evenly presented story which in the end makes it feel a little underwhelming when it really should be the opposite. It is a hard film to sit through, as it should be given the subject matter, so it does hit the right emotional core in that sense but the characters do feel underdeveloped. Overall, it’s a solid enough movie with an emotional ending even though it does lack depth in the characters.

 

Best Quotes    (Total Quotes: 15)


 

Nat Turner: You’re a child of God, you’ve got purpose. The law put it there and nobody can take it away.


 

[as young Nat goes to touch a book from the book case, Elizabeth stops him]
Elizabeth Turner: These books are for white folks. They’re full of things your kind wouldn’t understand. You’re a special boy, Nathaniel. Study hard here.


 

Joseph Randall: Your slaves sure do know how to behave.
Samuel Turner: I thank God for him. One of them is a preacher.
Joseph Randall: People might pay good money to have them calm down a bit, especially by one of their own.


 

[preaching to the slaves]
Nat Turner: I lead you to Peter 2:18. Submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.


 

[giving flowers to Nancy]
Nat Turner: I’m Nat.


 

[to his master’s dinner guests]
Nat Turner: Heavenly Father, we’ve come to thank you for your word and your will.
Dinner Guests: Amen.


 

[to the other slaves; referring to Nat]
Reverend Zalthall: You listen to him and you might just make it into heaven.


 

Samuel Turner: We’ve been good to you, my whole family has, and you go on and do something like this to me. A nigger baptizing a white man on my property. Do you know how this makes us look! This could ruin everything we worked for. Boy, you’d better say something and quick!
Nat Turner: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
Reverend Zalthall: Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again.
Nat Turner: You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
Reverend Zalthall: He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost have never forgiveness..
Nat Turner: Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are raven in wolves!


 

[as he goes to speak to a little white boy]
Plantation Owner: What do you think you’re doing, boy?
[he strikes Nat with his cane]
Plantation Owner: I asked you a question.
[as he goes to strike Nat again Nat grabs his cane]


 

[after being whipped]
Samuel Turner: You’re done preaching for a little while. Learned your lesson well?
Nat Turner: Oh, yes, I’ve learned.


 

[tending to Nat’s whipped back]
Bridget Turner: To watch a strong man broken down is a terrible thing.


 

Nat Turner: Lord’s spoken to me, visions of what’s to come. The rise of good against evil.
Simon: What are we going to do?
Nat Turner: We’ll fight. But once it begins our brothers and sisters are drawn, then we’ll number in the hundreds, thousands even.


 

Nancy Turner: [to Nat] You fight. You fight for us all.


 

Nat Turner: They’re waiting on something. They’re waiting on us.


 

[preaching to the slaves]
Nat Turner: Brethren, I pray you sing a new song. Sing praise in the assembly of the righteous. Let the saints be joyful in glory. Let the high praise of God be on the mouths of the saints and a two edged sword in their hand to execute vengeance on the demonic nations and punishment on those people to bind their kings with chains! Dishonor have all his saints! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Sing to him a new song!


Total Quotes: 15

 

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