My next blog will be on The Birth of a Nation. I should have reviewed this film earlier but I have not watched the film in quite some time. When it is fresh in my mind, I will write a lengthy article about the classic D.W. Griffith film.
Thinking about this film got me thinking about how other films treat racism. From what I have seen, there is a tendency for the films to be moralizing to a point that is makes me want to barf.
Take American History X for example. The acting is superb (who knew Edward Norton could play such an dark role so well), the story and dialogue are very well written, and there is just this ominous and intense mood that surrounds the film.
Or, at least for the first half of the film it is this way.
In the second half of the film, one of the lead characters changes his views after he makes one black friend. This occurs after a first half of film that is so utterly complex in its dealing with racism that it actually feels that the reformed racist was smarter as a racist.
The film ends with a disclaimer that essentially says that being angry and hateful is just a waste of time. There is no elaboration. This is the end.
In a sense, The Birth of a Nation is refreshing as it is so old and racist that it does care to pander to accepting and tolerant modern views. It did pander to racist views back in 1915 but its completely taboo views serve well for modern viewers as they challenge the viewer to look at film from a filmmaking standpoint and not a just a social one.