Yesha Callahan

Nate Parker’s Powerful Nat Turner Film ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Is Heading to Sundance


Whenever Hollywood releases a film or TV project about slavery, inevitably a chorus of critics chime in wanting to know when a movie about Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, or Toussaint L’Ouverture will be released. Well, folks have gotten their wish.

Beyond the Lights star Nate Parker’s film The Birth of A Nation, which tells the story of Nat Turner, will premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

The film, which Parker wrote and directed himself is “set against the antebellum South, this story follows Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner, accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. After witnessing countless atrocities against fellow slaves, Nat devises a plan to lead his people to freedom.”

We’re here for it.


The Birth of a Nation also stars Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, and Mark Boone Jr., and will compete in the US Dramatic film category at Sundance.


While there’s no trailer for the film just yet, we certainly can’t wait to see it!

  1. December 3, 2015 - Reply

    This film has piqued by interest but I really hope it doesn’t have the “one good white person” trope.

    • December 4, 2015 - Reply


      Oh it will.

  2. December 3, 2015 - Reply

    During the days of Nat Turner, black people suffered tyranny via slavery, rape, beatings, and other forms of mistreatment daily. That is why many rebellions existed, because our ancestors wanted freedom and liberation from tyranny. The story of Nat Turner is an emotional story and it is a story that should be told. Also, Nat Turner lived in Southampton, Virginia where my kinfolks are from. We know stories about Nat Turner. The locations where Nat Turner rebelled against slavery are places where many of my ancestors are from and many of my ancestors are from Cape Charles too. So, this is a personal story. It’s personal. I wish the best for Nate Parker and the crew involved in the film. I hope that the film makes our black ancestors proud.

    • December 3, 2015 - Reply

      Good post brother. I bet you have some great stories from your elders

      • December 3, 2015 - Reply

        @Chazz A

        Thank you Brother. Yes, I have heard great stories from the elders that deal with humor, history, and other facets of life.

        • December 3, 2015 - Reply

          No doubt, Those stories are worth their weight in gold. much respect to all of our elders.

          • December 3, 2015 - Reply

            @Chazz A

            Exactly Brother. The elders inspire us all of the time.

    • December 10, 2015 - Reply

      You should blog about this. This will become an evolution of spoken word!

  3. December 3, 2015 - Reply

    Nat Turner was the embodiment of the revolutionary fight for freedom, what slaveholders referred to as a slave revolt. Although there were many “revolutionary fights for freedom”
    Turner set the blueprint for all freedom fighters, including the BLM today.
    I must say that I’m confident this film will be a good production as long as it remains an independent project.
    We have seen time and time again what happens when Hollywood portrays THEIR version of OUR experience, historically.

    • December 23, 2015 - Reply

      @Chazz A

      Yeah. Who knows. Decades from now, they’re likely to try to do to the story of Nat Turner and white wash it like they did “Exodus: Gods And Kings”. Hopefully, this production will serve as a bulwark against that kind of Hollywood crap.

  4. December 3, 2015 - Reply

    Oh damn, cue the “It’s a war on whites” crowd!!!

    • December 10, 2015 - Reply


      You took the thoughts right out of my mind madwmn

  5. December 3, 2015 - Reply

    the confessions of nat turner was a really good book. hopefully, this movie will be just as good.

  6. December 3, 2015 - Reply


  7. December 5, 2015 - Reply

    I love the choice of the title alone.
    Considering how influential D.W. Griffith’s racist “Birth of A Nation” was to the creation of Hollywood (the film catapulting the profits of Louis B. Meyer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and giving Griffith the financial means to start United Artists), Nate Parker is linking a more historically accurate series of events to a film title that blatantly reinforced the dehumanization of a people. While some have argued against the rehashing of antebellum plantation life, many others of us understand the need for a more balanced perspective on a most shameful period of American history. If the children of Jewish Holocaust survivors can embrace the mantra of ‘Lim Chol V’lo Lishkoach’ — that is, to forgive but not forget — then we should see nothing wrong in ensuring film history is corrected from the vantage point of African Americans. When the liberated descendants of a denied people can freely voice a corrected truth, we grant everyone in our nation the privilege to finally, honestly and consciously heal.

  8. December 9, 2015 - Reply

    This is so surreal for me. I read Nat Turner’s rebellion 16 years ago.
    It brought me to tears and to this day, I swear I don’t know where I get this
    deep emotional feeling from, but I feel extremely connected to Nat. It’s the
    same feeling I got after reading the story of Emmett Till. I cried during and
    after reading both books. I hope this film is an accurate depiction of this
    hero, because of course we are only afforded the negative stigma of this God
    fearing brother. Lies and subterfuge about his life. Some teachings say that of
    all of the people he killed babies were among them. When in reality of the 50-65
    people killed, Nat only killed one. A woman whom he really liked as a person,
    but she would not stop screaming, no matter how much he begged and he was not
    able to keep her quiet by covering her mouth, so he strangled her. I am
    definitely going to do some research before this film comes out to ensure that
    it does not dip into the politically correctness that is needed to be allowed to
    do a film such as this.

  9. December 23, 2015 - Reply

    This film will gross $9.27 if we don’t get behind it. Charter church busses like they do for Tyler Perry flicks…

  10. December 24, 2015 - Reply

    I’d like to know whose hair brain idea it was to title this movie “The Birth of a Nation” when it so closely mimics “A Birth of a Nation”, a despicable movie by DW Griffith that single-handedly resurrected the KKK. Did these filmmakers not do their homework?

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