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Word Count: 427
Film Review of A Birth of a Nation Birth of a Nation is the single most important and key film of all time - it contains many new cinematic innovations and refinements technical effects and artistic advancements including a color sequence at the end It became a formative influence on future films and has had a recognized impact on film history and the development of film as art In addition at almost three hours in length it was the longest film to date Its pioneering technical work includes the special use of subtitles graphically verbalizing imagery the introduction of night photography the use of outdoor natural landscapes as backgrounds the definitive usage of the still-shot the technique of the camera iris effect expanding or contracting circular masks to either reveal and open up a scene or close down and conceal a part of an image moving panning camera tracking shots the use of total-screen close-ups to reveal intimate expressions the use of vignettes seen in or iris-shots in one portion of a darkened screen high-angle shots and the abundant use of panoramic long shots the dramatization of history in a moving story an example of an early spectacle or epic film with historical costuming staged battle scenes with hundreds of extras extensive cross-cutting between two scenes to create excitement and suspense and the cumulative building of the film to a dramatic climax Many of these techniques are now standard features of films but they were first used in this film However it still provokes conflicting views about its message First off there are questions about whether or not the government should give funding to preserve this film Next because the film is explicitly racist and is used for Ku Klux Klan recruitment one must question whether the film is suitable for todays society The government should give funding for this film to be preserved It is a piece of history in two senses one
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