TCA: Trailer + 2 Clips from INDEPENDENT LENS Documentary on How 'Birth of a Nation' Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights
Photo Credit: PBS INDEPENDENT LENS
Television

TCA: Trailer + 2 Clips from INDEPENDENT LENS Documentary on How 'Birth of a Nation' Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights

PBS INDEPENDENT LENS
PBS INDEPENDENT LENS

PBS unveiled a strong and quite robust winter/spring 2017 season lineup that includes a lot of original programming that you will be interested in (based on my initial skim of the schedule), including an INDEPENDENT LENS documentary titled “Birth of a Movement,” from producer-directors Susan Gray and Bestor Cram. A project we first alerted you to last fall, it now has an official premiere date, as well as a trailer and a couple of clips for you to look at.





An investigation into how D.W. Griffith’s incendiary 1915 film “The Birth of a Nation” unleashed a battle still being waged today over race relations and representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood movie/tv-making, the documentary tells the little-known story of African American newspaper editor and activist William M. Trotter who, after “Birth of a Nation’s” release, waged a battle against Griffith’s notoriously Ku Klux Klan-friendly blockbuster movie, launching what would become a nationwide movement that sought to denounce the work.

“Birth of a Movement” is based on the book “The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights” by Dick Lehr. It features the contributions of familiar names like Spike Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Jelani Cobb, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and DJ Spooky (who created a new score and remix of the original Griffith film), as well as numerous clips from the technically groundbreaking, but deeply racially problematic epic. The documentary promises to be a revelation for cinephiles, history buffs, and anyone interested in America’s tumultuous racial evolution, exploring how Griffith’s film continues to motivate African American filmmakers as they work to reclaim their history and their onscreen image.

A Monday, February 6 at 10 p.m. ET premiere on PBS, as part of its INDEPENDENT LENS film series, has been set for “Birth of a Movement.”

The network has released a first trailer as well as 2 clips from the documentary, all of which are embedded below:




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