Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2015
Out of necessity, "The Birth of a Nation" takes a lot of liberties with truths and unknowns about Nat Turner, fleshing out the skeleton of what the history books tell us.

Instead of having Nat being sold a number of times throughout his life, Parker keeps him with the same owner — the Turner family — throughout. Matriarch Elizabeth Turner (Penelope Ann Miller) takes a shine to Nat and helps to teach him how to read. While that part is true, keeping him with the same family allows Parker to show a young Nat (Tony Espinosa) being friends with his eventual master Samuel (Armie Hammer) from youth. He also gives Nat a lifelong nemesis in a slave tracker (Jackie Earle Haley), who, by the end of Nat's life, will have run down his father and hurt his wife Cherry (Aja Naomi King).

Ultimately, it makes "The Birth of a Nation" less a good faith attempt at reconstructing Nat Turner's life leading up to the rebellion and more a stylized fable, loosely rooted in an extraordinary true story.

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Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2015
I believe when writing a screen play based on a true store, it is necessary to take some liberties with actual effents.

That is one reason to read the book. Then you are in the position to point out the inaccuracies and the reason they were necessary in the film.

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