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In the makeup of American history certain stories have gone untold.

Nate Parker hopes to changed this narrative with the story of Nat Turner and his rebellion of 1831. In his new film, The Birth of a Nation that premiered at the Sundace Film Festival this week, the actor who identifies himself as an activist, proudly put on his director hat when discussing the film.

“It makes me very proud to present a hero on screen that looks like me,” Parker said in a sit down interview with Sundance. “There are people that we don’t learn about everyday that gave everything. Why won’t we all look to the hero, whoever that hero was, that dealt with his environment in that time under the most oppressive odds and fought against it? Isn’t that something to celebrate?”

In addition to being a courageous story of bravery that created consciousness in a pre-Civil War era of slavery, Turner’s story was also a victory of faith. Parker, who says he considers Turner a personal hero, took all these elements into account when making the film.

“I think this is a win for independent film,” Parker adds. “[And] I think this is a win for independent filmmakers.”

Hear more about what Nate Parker has to say about The Birth of a Nation in the video above.


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