So, I had not ever heard of Nat Turner before seeing this movie, this point in history is not one which is taught in history classes, or at least not in any of the classes I took. I have no idea if anyone has been taught about this in school, and if you were taught about this then kudos to you for knowing more than me.
If you don't know, before the civil war there was a period (48 hours) of unrest where slaves rose up and assaulted and killed their owners, and other owners of slaves. They were unable to overthrow all of the plantations, which resulted in the hanging of several slaves and free men. Truth be told, slaves were not treated well, and I feel I must state this well because I have heard people make the comment, "Well, not everyone was a bad slave owner." This may be true, maybe not everyone beat their slaves, limited food for their slaves, raped their slaves, and killed their slaves, but they all treated their slaves as property, regulating their lives, who they loved, and what happened to their children.
Now for the movie. There is a lot of controversy about this movie, about the rape scenes and how it was treated, or how the rape scenes are all about the men, but I think people forget about the period in time this was and men were often the protector. Plus, when a woman is raped sometimes she is silent and in shock. I, personally, didn't think these were off and I felt a little at ease that the scenes were poignant without being right in your face about it.
This movie can really make you think about slavery in general. If a man feels like a person is property (as still happens today, especially in domestic violence situations) he feels as if he can do anything to that property. He may damage that property in any way he sees fit, and if this property displeases him, he can get rid of it, by selling it or killing it. We, America, can't erase our past, but we should learn from it. I don't care what you think of Nate Parker, I want you to see this movie because I want you to look at a history of slavery. Children were removed from their parents and sold, sold to anyone who could afford them, and that child could be used for any purpose. I want you to watch this movie and have a conversation, about history and the present.
There are dark days in front of us. We joke about who abused who more in this presidential race. If we don't want to repeat the past, we should look to it and learn, and we shouldn't forget.
I really liked this movie. And the use of Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" was perfect and filled with emotion.