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How The Birth of a Nation Uses Fact and Fiction

Nate Parker’s Nat Turner biopic The Birth of a Nation takes a fascinatingly complicated history and simplifies it into the story of one man’s heroic journey. Which aspects of the film are faithful to the historical accounts of Turner’s slave rebellion, and which take artistic license to invent or elide key events? I read historian Patrick Breen’s 2016 book The Land Shall Be Deluged with Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt, and consulted with a variety of other sources, to find out.
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