Though D.W. Griffith’s racially charged shitshow wasn’t billed as propaganda, it’s tough to see the polarizing film as anything else. Based on Thomas Dixon’s 1905 novel, The Clansman, The Birth of a Nation is a love letter to the Ku Klux Klan, pinning America’s discord on the freeing of slaves. The film’s “black” characters (actually white actors in blackface) are all portrayed as savage and villainous, while the KKK members are heroic. To think, 95 years later, we have a black president. Don’t expect a big-budget Hollywood remake of this one anytime soon.
THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915)