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Birth Of A Nation Essay

1347 words - 6 pages

Racism has been around since the beginning of time. Basically if you had a skin tone darker than the shade of white, you were inferior. Times have now changed, but there are remnants of this subject everywhere, even in film. The movie Birth of a Nation is considered one of the greatest films of all time, even with these themes. AMC’s Filmsite even has it listed within the 100 Greatest Films of All Time. Another movie with the some of the same themes is Blazing Saddles. Blazing Saddles does not have the same stature as Birth of a Nation, but it does deserve to be higher in the canon. I do believe that Blazing Saddles does not have the same stature because it is a comedy with crude humor and ...view middle of the document...

That is impressive. It even had a super impressive budget and made a ton of money at the box office. A profit at the box office means that people paid the price to go see the movie. It seemed so real that people actually believed that the KKK were heroes and blacks were all bad. In my eyes, it was very much so a film of propaganda and possibly made tension between races even stronger during that time. President Woodrow Wilson backed up the film and stated that the whole thing was so true. The only “colored” characters that were half way respectable were the mulattos, although they actually were not. The movie even addressed interracial marriage, and why it should not be allowed. It was very convincing and influential when released.
Birth of a Nation used many different camera techniques while filming; such as shots from different angles, moving shots and long shots which are techniques that are still used today very frequently.

Another movie that was somewhat controversial at the time of its release was Blazing Saddles. It is an offensive, but typical western movie with a few twists. It uses crude language, bathroom humor, and even innuendos throughout. Although offensive, people love seeing these things on the big screen, even to this day. The story line is different from Birth of a Nation, but it does have a few similarities. Blazing Saddles was racist in a different way; it used stereotypes and even sometimes reversed stereotypes. It basically made fun of racism. The black man in this movie was the hero finally. Bart was eventually named sheriff and saved the town. This was not before other stereotypical scenes though.
Bart worked on a rail road with others, and of course a white man was in charge. To make the scene a little more light hearted, they started singing their own, more modern version of songs. Yes it’s racist, but it is funny, which makes it okay in society’s eyes. They look like typical black men in 1874, but hey, at least they’re actually played by people actually that race.
(PICTURE)
Bart was also a criminal. The only reason he was installed as sheriff is because the color of his skin. Taggart believed that a black sheriff would scare all of the people in the town away. When he arrives, the people realize the color of his skin, and then threaten to shoot him; this is a typical Birth of a Nation thing to do. In reaction to the threats, he puts his own gun to his neck and said, “The next man makes a move, the nigger gets it.” Offensive statement, but since he is referring to himself, it is more comic relief and shows that he knows why they want him gone. He understands the color of his skin and he...

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