The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation

Nate Parker (2016)

15 Certificate


Our Score
A harrowing portrayal of a real-life slave rebellion in 19th-century Virginia from writer/director and star Nate Parker. The revolt is led by Nat Turner (Parker), a preacher living in slavery, motivated by the horrors he sees to rise up against his white oppressors. Directed confidently by the first-time film-maker, it brings the grim reality of plantation life to the screen. While the plot lacks delicacy at times - preferring to hammer home points rather than exercise subtlety - the inherent power of the story overcomes these flaws, making Turner's journey feel vital and captivating, particularly in the first hour. Parker is the film's engrossing emotional centre, supported by a conflicted performance from Armie Hammer (as Turner's owner), and the horrifying presence of Jackie Earle Haley who is a monster, even by the film's own, unflinching standards. While Parker does rely on the occasional cliché, The Birth of a Nation brings a hereto untold chapter of American history to vivid life.


Biopic of Nat Turner, the literate plantation preacher who led a slave rebellion in 1831 Virginia, starring Nate Parker, Armie Hammer and Penelope Ann Miller.

Cast & Crew

Nat Turner Nate Parker
Samuel Turner Armie Hammer
Raymond Cobb Jackie Earle Haley
Nancy Aunjanue Ellis
Cherry Aja Naomi King
Esther Gabrielle Union
Elizabeth Turner Penelope Ann Miller
Reverend Zalthall Mark Boone Junior
Hark Colman Domingo
Issac Turner Dwight Henry
Director Nate Parker
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxGuidance: Violence.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 9 Dec 2016