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The Birth of a Nation Downplays Nat Turner’s Fanaticism, But Can’t Figure Out What to Say About His Religion

This article originally appeared in Vulture. Nat Turner had distinctive blemishes on his chest and forehead, which supposedly marked him for greatness. He also had prophetic visions of angels battling in the sky, which convinced him he had been chosen by God. The Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker’s new biopic of Turner, includes the markings, and it’s got the visions too, in the form of a series of dream sequences full of frenetic camera work and eerie, larger-than-life figures.
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