I saw this movie just recently, and I must say, it's quite fascinating. For those who have never heard of it, it's a silent film from 1914, based on the book "The Klansman," that caused the 20th century resurgance of the KKK as a racist organization, rather than a purely political shadow power. The movie is about the War Between the States and the subsequent political stuggle during Reconstruction. It's called "Birth of a Nation" since many historians state that America was not a singular nation until the war and was instead a federation of independant states. Now, while this movie is indeed racist, it does cover one of the untold stories of that war, and the one which caused such a big stink about the KKK. That story is the one of political manipulation. After the war, speaker of the house wanted all of the Southern leaders executed and our lands to be oppressively treated as conquored territory, but Lincoln announced that he would treat the South 'as if they had never left.' John Wilkes Booth, however, ensured that the South's only friend on Capitol Hill was ten feet under. Those who took over still couldn't do what they originally wanted, but they did quite a bit to destroy the South. First, they forbid anyone who supported the Confederacy to vote, leaving mostly uneducated former slaves as voters. Then, the carpetbaggers found some easily manipulated free slaves that these new voters would support, and for years, all states in the South lost their right to govern themselves, as their politicians were being held up by Northern strings. This led to the birth of a shadow organisation called the Ku Klux Klan. The purpose was to protect Southern political interests. It's quite sad that this led to the mass violence that the KKK is now famous for, but the movie is probably the most influential silent movie in history, and I thought it was quite good. It's a good film, especially if you want to see a good chunk of history.