The Birth of a NationThe Birth of a Nation is a controversial silent film directed by D.W. Griffith, based on the play The Clansmen and the book The Leopard's Spots, both by Thomas Dixon. It was released in 1915 and has been credited with securing the future of feature length films (any film over an hour in length) as well as solidifying the codes of film language. The film premiered on February 8, 1915 in Los Angeles, California.
The controversy of the film revolves around its premise of a post-Civil War America where the Ku Klux Klan successfully redeems the South from carpetbaggers and mulattos, perceived in the film as evil. Even at the time of the film's release, riots protested the film. However, the success of the film made Griffith a wealthy man. Griffith was surprised by the harsh criticism and his next major project, Intolerance tried to address the issues raised. The film has been accused of reviving the modern version of the Ku Klux Klan.
The film has also been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
Some of the film's cast members are: