Birth of a Nation

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A controversial silent film directed by David 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 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 evil mulattos. 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.