Nate Parker's Sundance Award-winning directorial debut The Birth of a Nation opens later this year when it's expected to be a major player in the Oscars race. It's also likely to be highly controversial considering the film centers on Nat Turner, a slave and fiery preacher who led a violent rebellion in 1831 Virginia. And now Parker has debuted a striking new poster with an image that is sure to stoke plenty of emotions considering today's current events.
The image shows Parker as Nat Turner being hanged from a noose made of the American flag. Whoo boy. Considering the heated debate surrounding the deaths of unarmed black people by police, and a legal system that doesn't seem willing to hold anyone accountable for these deaths, this poster is certainly timely but also potentially divisive. Of the image Parker wrote...
“Healing can only come through an honest confrontation with our past. Do we have the courage to examine the true Birth of this Nation?”
It's no secret I've been less unenthusiastic about this film's chances of winning an Oscar than some others, but it's not because I disliked the movie. Quite the contrary, I think it's a Hell of an achievement for a first-time director, but it's far from perfect. There's also a good chance that it's so confrontational it does more harm than good to its awards chances, which would be a shame but not out of the realm of possibility. These are subjects I brought up to Parker himself during my interview with him, so check that out here.