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Trailer Watch: Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation

Though it won’t hit theaters for nearly six months, The Birth of a Nation got its first trailer today — and it’s a stunner. The film — written, directed, produced and starring Nate Parker — wowed critics and audiences at Sundance earlier this year, where it won both the Audience Award and Jury Award and sold to Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5 million, making it the biggest Sundance deal of all time.

Set to Nina Simone’s cover of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” the trailer artfully presents snippets of the story, which follows Parker’s Nat Turner as becomes the leader of the 1831 slave rebellion.

“While we have seen films dealing with the period of slavery through themes of endurance and resilience, we have rarely seen those dealing with resistance and self-determination from the position of the enslaved,” Parker told Filmmaker in January. “It is through this angle I hope audiences will continue to engage; having their eyes further opened regarding both those who endured and those who resisted.”

Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Aja Naomi King and Mark Boone Jr. also star in the film, which hits theaters on Oct. 7, just in time for Oscar season.

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