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'The Birth of a Nation' trailer: Oscar favorite after diversity struggles?

After a Sundance screening, some critics have called 'Birth' a strong Oscars contender. Nate Parker directed, wrote, and starred in the film. 

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A trailer has been released for the upcoming film “The Birth of a Nation,” which tells the story of the nineteenth-century slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. After becoming a hit at the Sundance Film Festival, some critics predict it could be an Oscars favorite.

“Birth” stars Nate Parker, who also directed and wrote the film, as Turner. The trailer shows him leading services for his fellow slaves and being punished by slaveowners, as well as plotting his rebellion.

“The Lord has spoken to me,” Nat (Parker) says. “Visions of what’s to come – the rise of good against evil.” 

“What are we going to do?” one of his fellow slaves asks him. 

“We’ll fight,” Nat says. “Once it begins, our brothers and sisters will join.” 

“Birth” will be released this October. The fall and winter are often considered release time for movies that their studios hope will become Oscars contenders. 

The movie co-stars Armie Hammer, Colman Domingo, Aja Naomi King, and Penelope Ann Miller. 

When it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the film received mostly positive reviews, with some critics pointing to it as a possible Oscars favorite.

If actors such as Parker or Ms. King receive recognition from the Academy for their acting, the Oscars will already have made progress from the last two Academy Awards ceremonies, at which only white actors were nominated in every acting category – Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. 

At the 2014 ceremony, “12 Years a Slave,” a movie about a free African-American man living in the nineteenth century who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, won Best Picture and star Lupita Nyong’o won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, while actor Chiwetel Ejiofor was nominated for Best Actor for his work. 

Since the first Oscars in 1929, four black actors have won the Best Actor Oscar, one has won the Best Actress Oscar, four have won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and six have won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

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