Volume 19 Issue 50 | April 27 - May 3, 2007

A Downtown Express Special Supplement

Tribeca Film Festival 2007

Re-interpreting ‘Birth of a Nation’

Film historians have always had a difficult time dealing with D.W. Griffith’s influential 1915 “Birth of a Nation,” singularly responsible for the development of long-form cinematic narrative, but also derided as profoundly racist and inflammatory. D.J. Spooky has taken the film and re-mixed it, breaking up its images, adding a score by the famed Kronos Quartet, and re-mixing the sounds and story to re-envision “Birth of a Nation” as something entirely new. Calling it “Rebirth of a Nation,” and saying he is re-claiming the racist work for the people it has wronged (he claims “Birth of a Nation” is still used today as a recruitment tool for the Ku Klux Klan), it is a live media experience rarely performed in New York. During the festival, it will be performed twice — May 4 and 5 at 9 p.m. in the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center. — D.J.

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