"Rebirth of a Nation" is a remix of the extremely influential and controversial 1915 film "Birth of a Nation" by D.W. Griffith. The film tells the revisionist history of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era in the South and the rise of the KKK, all of this from a white supremacist viewpoint. The images are literally racist propaganda, and was even used as a recruiting tool for the KKK.
Paul Miller, AKA DJ Spooky -- That Subliminal Kid, (who is also a Professor at the European Graduate School) created an amazing, intellectual, thought provoking remix out of D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation". His main premise seems to challenge the viewer to question the films affect on our world today, and specifically, on the power that mass media has in influencing which lens we see the world through.
There's no doubt about it, D.W. Griffith's images are compelling. This is at once disturbing and moving, and Paul Miller's point comes across quite well.
The visual effects are captivating, and entice you to follow the DJ as he deconstructs the images and the stories they tell. The music further aids him in is task. Towards the beginning of the story, the concentration is obviously on the storyline itself, and the music mostly follows the film. Yet as the film progresses, and the white men are shown as heroes and saviors in D.W. Griffith's version, Paul Miller's music "devolves" into a spooky, disjointed melody, exposing its sordid "morals". The film itself is overlain with narration about the storyline, Paul Miller's process, information about the film historically, and references to connections between the film and ongoing problems in our society today.
The only reason I did not give this film 5 stars was because I think there could have been many more special features available. There is an option for Paul Millers commentary to play along with the film. I definitely recommend watching it with the directors commentary on after your initial viewing.
This film is a must-see for anyone interested in race relations in America today, or for anyone interested in new ways of producing digitally manipulated and remixed film and video.