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Nate Parker’s anticipated film, The Birth of a Nation, hits theaters this weekend and with all the buzz surrounding the movie, we want to know: Will you go see it?

The movie is based on Nat Turner, who, according to Parker, was “a patriot that stood for the ideals that were written in this country.” Nate not only stars in the film as Turner, but the actor also directed, produced and wrote the period drama.

After its debut at Sundance, the movie garnered major buzz and became one of the most talked-about dramas at the movie festival. In fact, Fox Searchlight picked up the independent project for a whopping $17.5 million, making it the highest price paid for a film at Sundance.

But soon after the project’s praise and predicted award season chatter, the positive light was dimmed after reports re-surfaced of Parker’s accusal and acquittal of rape 17 years ago.

Why does Nate’s rape case matter? The Birth of a Nation also follows Gabrielle Union’s character, an unarmed slave who was raped — a storyline Union can personally relate to.

Twenty four years ago, the actress was raped at gunpoint in the back room of a Payless shoe store where she worked. But despite being a victim of rape, this is still a story she wanted to tell.

HipHollywood recently asked if the actress would have taken the role if she initially knew about Parker’s rape case; her response: “I hate hypotheticals, because a coulda, woulda, shoulda makes you look amazing. I could look like a saint on a coulda, woulda, shoulda, but that’s not the reality.”

She continued, “The reality is I didn’t know, and I took the film because it dealt with sexual violence, because my character was sexually assaulted, and I wanted to show the impact on the psyche and the family as a community of African Americans, and specifically with black women, nothing has changed.”

“I’ve been talking about this for 20 years,” she added of her work to help survivors of sexual violence. “I didn’t just start talking about it a month ago.”

Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight is also standing by Parker, releasing the following statement: “We also know that he was found innocent and cleared of all charges. We stand behind Nate and are proud to help bring this important and powerful story to the screen.”

The Birth of a Nation hits theaters October 7th. Will you support it?

 

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