Actor Nate Parker made big waves with his directorial debut at the Sundance Film Festival this year with the critically-acclaimed, The Birth of a Nation. Slated to be released in theaters later this fall, the first teaser trailer for the film has just been released online (following its debut at the 2016 CinemaCon in Las Vegas).
The Birth of a Nation premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past January and tells the story of a slave Nat Turner, who leads one of the bloodiest slave uprisings in American history. In addition to his writing/directing duties, Parker also stars as leader Nat Turner in the film. The Birth of a Nation takes its name from the infamous 1915 silent film, which features racist aspects including the portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan as heroes. Parker’s movie was critically acclaimed at Sundance, with Parker winning the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize. On top of the critical acclaim at Sundance, Fox Searchlight Pictures purchased the film for $17.5 million, which beat out Little Miss Sunshine for the largest deal made at the festival.
Today, Fox Searchlight has released the first teaser trailer for the film on along with this official summary for The Birth of a Nation:
Set against the antebellum South, THE BIRTH OF A NATION follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities – against himself and his fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.
The trailer gives a condensed version of the beginning of Nat Turner from preacher to revolutionary leader to the tune of Nina Simone’s cover of “Strange Fruit”, a chilling song about the lynchings of African-Americans. Fox Searchlight has been quick to slate the movie for this October, hoping to keep the buzz going for next year’s Oscars.
Considering that Parker was given a standing ovation at Sundance this year and the positive reviews of critics at the festival, The Birth of a Nation will be a must-see movie for 2016. Also, by setting a drama around one of the largest slave uprisings, Nate Parker will showing the story of slaves in the United States in a different light, standing up against oppression. The trailer for the film has already shown great promise in Parker’s directorial abilities and an exciting new film to look forward to in October.
The Birth of a Nation will release on October 7th, 2016.