Does Dallas Make This Movie More Timely?

Kris Tapley writes: ‘Following a screening of Sundance prize-winner “The Birth of a Nation” last week, I took out my phone and saw the horrifying news coming out of Dallas. After watching the events of Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion unfold on the screen — depicted with impassioned grace by director Nate Parker — a wave of thoughts and emotions was crashing inside. Of course, it would be intellectually careless to equate the actions of Dallas shooter Micah Johnson with the retaliation of slaves against their oppressors. They’re not at all one and the same. But there is shared DNA between the emotions that sparked the two events. Critics may invoke the police brutalities of Oakland, Ferguson, Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights while declaring that Parker’s film, which opens Oct. 7, comes at an explosive time for U.S. race relations, but the Dallas shootings put that tension in an even stronger light. This is a film about exasperation. It’s a film about breaking points. It’s a film, ultimately, about anger. And in 2016, when attention around race and social barriers continues to trend upward, it makes “Birth of a Nation” — like “Do the Right Thing” before it — all the more provocative.’

Leave a Comment