Sundance Winner 'The Birth of a Nation' Gets a Striking First Trailer

Sundance Winner 'The Birth of a Nation' Gets a Striking First Trailer

Apr 15, 2016

You may have heard the buzz about Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation during Sundance. Now you can see what the festival's double winner -- Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award -- looks like. Maybe also get a sense of why it's now such a heavy contender for other, bigger honors at the end of this year and beyond. Yes, people are already talking it up for a Best Picture nomination. 

Fox Searchlight has debuted the first trailer for the historical drama, which will surely remind viewers of recent Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. The spot does make the film look like it could be just as strong a work, but the trailer itself already sends chills down the spine with its use of Nina Simone's rendition of "Strange Fruit" on the soundtrack. Her voice can elevate any image.

That's Parker, who wrote, directed and produced The Birth of a Nation, also starring in the film. He plays Nat Turner, the black preacher who led an 1831 slave rebellion that resulted in the deaths of more than 250 people, the majority of them African-American. Armie Hammer plays his owner, Samuel Turner, who eventually sets him free and on his path to become a great leader of men.

Our own Erik Davis saw the film at Sundance and had these words to say about it

"The Birth of a Nation is just as powerful and necessary as 12 Years a Slave...the movie is worth the hype, and Parker -- who quit acting for two years in order to raise the funds to make Birth of a Nation -- clearly pours everything into a film that's most compelling when Nat Turner shows the double-edged sword hidden within scripture in the bible. How it hurt, how it helped, and how it may have been one of the most powerful weapons during a time of inexplicable horrors in our country."

You can see for yourself when The Birth of a Nation hits theaters on October 7.

 

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