Past Film/Video | Public Programs | Film/Video | Contemporary Screen

The Birth of a Nation

(Nate Parker, 2016)

Preview screening

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The Wexner Center presents a free (and now sold-out) advance screening of Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation followed by a postscreening Q&A with noted film scholar Michael B. Gillespie.

Parker’s directorial debut is a stirring and powerful historical epic about Nat Turner, the literate slave and preacher who led an 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. Winning both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the film is notable for the way it focuses on the spiritual and intellectual degradations of slavery as much as the physical. The film’s title consciously echoes that of D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915)—one of the most significant yet deeply racist films in American history. Parker also wrote, produced, and stars in the picture, which opens nationwide October 7. (110 mins., DCP)

Stay after the screening for a Q&A moderated by Michael B. Gillespie, associate professor of film at The City College of New York and visiting professor at Princeton University. Before the screening, Gillespie will be signing copies of his new book, Film Blackness: American Cinema and the Idea of Black Film (Duke University Press).

The Birth of a Nation has been the focus of intense media coverage regarding sexual assault charges filed in 1999 against Parker and Jean McGianni Celestin, who shares a story credit on the film. This topic—among many others—will be explored in the September 19 Director’s Dialogue on Art and Social Change: Culture, Ethics, and Controversy, featuring a panel discussion with esteemed colleagues across Ohio State.

SEASON SUPPORT FOR FILM/VIDEO

Rohauer Collection Foundation

 

SUPPORT FOR THE FILM/VIDEO STUDIO PROGRAM

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

National Endowment for the Arts

 

GENERAL OPERATING SUPPORT FOR THE WEXNER CENTER

Greater Columbus Arts Council

Ohio Arts Council

Columbus Foundation

Nationwide Foundation

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Past Education

The Birth of a Nation