Birth of a Nation is the period drama film that has given a new narrative of the years of slavery in America.
Telling the tale of the slaves that fought back against their white oppressors in a rebellion, the movie gives viewers a side of the story they aren’t so familiar with.
After its overwhelmingly positive reception at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Birth of a Nation sold to Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5m [£14m].
Since then, the movie has been dubbed as a “flop”, after opening in the US box office with $7.1million [£5.7million] – less than it was expected to initially make.
The essence of the movie has also been overshadowed recently, by the resurfacing of past rape allegations against front-man Nate Parker. After it came to light that the victim of the case has since committed suicide, the news diverted attention from the excitement of the film.
Is the world going to take no notice of the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award given to the film at Sundance, or the many standing ovations from audiences across the US?
12 Years A Slave earned $6.6m [£5m] when it opened at the box office – less than Birth of a Nation – yet went on to have undoubted cinematic success.
If we shut down all of the films that had a disappointing first week, we wouldn’t have some of the greatest movies of our time.
Birth of a Nation is the kind of movie that we aren’t used to seeing on our screens, but this is a positive. We need to see both sides of every story and this other side is what black people have wanted the film industry to acknowledge for years.
If people boycott the film after hearing of its supposed “flop”, we’re in danger of stopping further productions being funded, that show alternative perspectives or unseen realities of history.
Birth of a Nation has been reviewed as a powerful spectacle, which now must not be overshadowed by mainstream biased reporting.