Parents' Guide to

The Birth of a Nation

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Landmark American classic is as troubling as it is great.

Movie NR 1915 192 minutes
The Birth of a Nation Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Hate group recruitment tool

The Common Sense Media review here fails to leave out some very critical information about this film. Not only is it one of the most racist films of all time, but it also actively promotes white supremacy and superiority. It’s a propaganda film that has been used by the KKK and other hate groups as a recruitment tool. White actors in blackface portray the most horrific racial stereotypes. I am shocked and dismayed that Common Sense Media would list this as a film for teens, especially with such a short and inadequate explanation of the film’s content and negative lasting impacts. Do not watch this film.
1 person found this helpful.
age 15+

Although it may be a landmark in cinema history, it is also disgustingly racist

Don't let your children go see this film. It is racist and might mess with their brains. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (7):

D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation is as much a part of film history as the Civil War is a part of American history. It was one of a handful of productions of the time that, alongside the Italian film Cabiria (1914), experimented with long-form storytelling. It also advanced the medium in more technical ways, such as Griffith's invention of flashbacks as a narrative device and cinematographer Billy Bitzer's use of nighttime photography. But this presents a dilemma: How can we claim it as a "great" movie when it is so deeply racist?

Movie Details

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