11 August 2004

Hollywood Cinema forced to cancel Birth of a Nation screening

Although 'Birth of a Nation' is an inherently racist work, showing black people (albeit white folks with blackened faces) as rapists and the ku klux klan as the saviour of the south, it is, as the article points out, of great cinematic importance. It's use of cross-cutting, for example, was the first of it's kind in the burgeoning american film industry of the time. I'd like to think people are sophisticated enough to be able to view the work as such, but I guess it's kinda hard for some people to look past the racist undertones. Of course choosing to screen such a film in LA, with it's large african american population and history of police racism and the riots that followed the rodney king scandal, was a pretty dumb idea.