The Birth of a Nation


also known as: The Clansman

directed by D.W. Griffith, 193 minutes

Flash 11 or above required

or download the app
Fandor iPad and iPhone app, now available on the App Store
Android app on Google Play

Pin it button

Copy and paste the embed code shown below into your webpage editor.

More than 75 years after its initial release, THE BIRTH OF A NATION remains one of the most controversial films ever made and a landmark achievement in film history that continues to fascinate and enrage audiences. It is the epic story of two families, one northern and one southern, during and after the Civil War. D. W. Griffith's masterful direction combines brilliant battle scenes and tender romance with a vicious portrayal of African-Americans. It was the greatest feature-length blockbuster yet to be produced in the United States and the first to be shown in the White House. After seeing it, President Woodrow Wilson remarked it was "like writing history with lightning!" There was a time when critics sought to de-emphasize the film's content and celebrate the picture as an artistic masterpiece, but from today's perspective, such an approach seems less tenable. However flawed THE BIRTH OF A NATION now seems as an historical epic, it is undeniable that the film itself made history. In cities and states across the country, it energized the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which tried to have the film banned, or at least the most gruesome scenes censored. The film also inspired African-Americans to move into filmmaking as a way to offer alternative images and stories.

Cast & Crew

Executive Produced By Produced By


(see the best reviews)

Join the conversation. Log in or subscribe to write a review!

1 member found this review helpful Created about 3 years ago.

Is that really supposed to be Christ in the background at the end, united in some way with the South, with the Klu Klux Klan with the cross of Jesus on their disgusting uniforms? Hitler also had "Gott mitt Uns" (God is with us)on every military commanders hat. Now we have a Republican Party in this country which takes much of their beliefs from religion, never understanding we are a secular nation!

0 of 1 members found this review helpful Created about 3 years ago.

Amazingly informative. I will be using this in homeschooling. I have a new understanding of the reasons for the formation of the KKK. The North, in the persons of Lynch and Stoneman, was greatly at fault. Not to excuse slavery, but to better understand the aftermath of the war.

Created about 5 years ago. Updated about 5 years ago.

Interesting movie about how slavery refused to die with the end or the Civil War. It just went underground under a new and creative name. I wonder if Hitler got some of his inspiration here.
A bit of a long movie (3 hours) but worth watching.

Created 5 months ago.

historical interest

We hope you're enjoying this free preview.

Subscribe to enjoy unlimited access to thousands of films from hundreds of countries.

Film page onboarding prospect devices Learn More