Archive for 1915

Double Bill: Two (Racist) Cinematic Classics

Posted in Films, Not entirely crap with tags , , , , on March 12, 2013 by publicdomainlibrary

It’s not often that you get a feature-length movie that’s widely regarded as a classic in the public domain. So today, we thought we’d serve you with a two-fer: two movies that have been hailed by many to be amongst the greatest ever made, apart from one small snag: they’re both incredibly racist. Goddammit, cinema.

 

The first is cinema’s first true epic, a three-hour drama film from 1915 directed by DW Griffith. It’s, of course, The Birth of a Nation. Both shockingly and awkwardly dated in that it stars the Ku Klux Klan as its heroes and features black people portrayed by white people in blackface, the film nevertheless remains a groundbreaking and significant achievement in cinema history. So we’re moderately proud to present to you here today, The Birth of a Nation:

Internet Archive download link (also here’s 44 minutes of a HD print – why the rest is cut off we have no idea)

 

The second is a pioneering documentary film from 1936, using groundbreaking techniques such as the use of distorted perspective thru lenses and aerial photography, making it one of the most acclaimed pieces of propaganda ever made. Too bad it had to come from the Nazis. The film, while stunningly made, unfortunately glorifies Hitler and the Nazi race, which as you can imagine makes it quite hard to sit through at times. Nevertheless, it is an important piece of history, so…. enjoy? :

Internet Archive download link

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