It’s a new type of slavery film with a Black protagonist and no white savior.As a young man, Nat becomes a preacher, using his gift of the gospel to give solace to himself and his fellow captives. The slaves on the plantation have a kind of community, they support and look out for each other as best they can. Like his friends, Nat even gets married and has a child. For a while he is happy. Times get hard for plantation owners in Virginia, slaves are refusing to work, whites fear revolt. A local preacher convinces master Turner to rent out his black preacher to help calm the slaves at other plantations, many of whom have been battered, lost limbs, and stripped of their personhood. As atrocities mount so do white suspicions, even at the Turner plantation. Nat gets a sign from God to free his people and takes action to see it through. Parker gets strong performances from his cast. Parker himself is a standout. He imbues Nat with great emotional range and a quiet strength. Aja Naomi King, who viewers may recognize as Miss Pratt from How to Get Away with Murder, shows her acting range as Nat’s sweet, protective, and loving wife Cherry. Armie Hammer portrays Samuel Turner as a man conflicted, but willing to sell his soul for money and status. The one misstep in an otherwise powerful movie was the character of Isaiah, a stereotypical house slave played by Roger Guenveur Smith. Smith is an accomplished actor of stage and screen, but his portrayal was almost comical. This one-dimensional character felt like perpetuation of the house slave and field slave a division, which seems irrelevant because your living arrangement doesn’t make you any more or less free. Birth is not a perfect movie, but it is a very good one. It covers a piece of America’s history that isn’t talked about in school. I hope the film helps us talk about it in our homes and maybe the next generation will have a more complete picture of what it took to give birth to this nation.