Log In

A Controversial Film Quot The Birth Of A Nation Quot


      1. Spend some time researching the innovative and technical accomplishments D.W. Griffith made while making Birth of a Nation.
      2. Find two (2) articles that support the school of thought that Birth of a Nation should be respected and appreciated for its cinematic endeavors and technical contributions.
      3. Be sure to include the title of the articles, author/ critic’s name. Copy and paste URL addresses for the articles and submit with this assignment.
      4. Answer the following questions:
        • What technical advancements or accomplishments did the film present and introduce to film-making?
        • Is the film considered historically accurate? What does Griffith do to indicate that it is historically accurate?
        • What research or information do you find regarding Griffith’s portrayal of African-Americans in the film? Keep in mind that Griffith cast white actors and actresses to play all African-American characters who came into close contact with white actresses to avoid “racial pollution.”
        • Many people, including several historians, believe that this film should not be shown in public.
        • Based on the research that you’ve accumulated, do you feel not showing the film in public deals with this issue responsibly? Should Birth of a Nation ever be shown? Why? How?


Article Title: Reviewed Work: D.W. Griffith’s the Birth of a Nation: A History of “The Most Controversial Motion Picture of All Time.” (2009).

Author: Melvyn Stokes

Link to article (Links to an external site.)

  1. (Links to an external site.)Technical and creative innovations include but not limited to: Griffith refined techniques such as the close-up, scenic long shots, moving camera shots, fade in fade outs. He contributed to the art of editing using flashbacks and parallel editing. He introduced/expanded night photography, color tinting and epic battle scenes with 100s of extras. Live musical orchestra accompaniment for the sound design and score for the film. Raised standard of acting by having rehearsals. The first movie that charged $2.00 admission “Birth of a Nation”. First to have name included on dialogue cards.

Continue to answer the questions in this manner.

× How can I help?