Monday June 18, 2018

The Birth of a Nation, an Untold True Story of 1831 Uprising of a Slave Community

The Birth of a Nation, about 1831 uprising of a slave community in the American south, is a fiery account of a rebellion against injustice and oppression

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A still from the movie The Birth of a Nation, VOA
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October 11, 2016: The Birth of a Nation, about the 1831 uprising of a slave community in the American south, is a fiery account of a rebellion against injustice and oppression. Based on a true story, the film offers an unflinching look at the brutal event. First-time filmmaker Nate Parker reclaims the film title “The Birth of a Nation,” from D.W. Griffith’s 1915 pro Ku Klux Klan interpretation of the Civil War. Parker presents the story of Nat Turner, a slave preacher, who decided to right the wrongs against his people by taking up arms.

Unlike most films about slavery, which have focused on the perseverance and sacrifice of slaves in the American South during the antebellum era, The Birth of a Nation talks of rebellion and revenge.

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The film follows Nat Turner’s journey to radicalization and rebellion. A studious boy, Nat was likely taught to read by his white masters, and became a recognized preacher in the slave community. His ability to soothe and console the enslaved hearts of his brethern was exploited by slaveowners, who saw the word of the Bible as a way to teach slaves passivity and obedience to the white master.

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But during his preaching tours, Turner saw so much abuse against the slaves, he could no longer turn the other cheek. The more pain he witnessed, the more his sermons became combative, defiant, and aggressive. He was punished severely. His wife raped. But Turner did not submit.

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Parker says he got invested in the story not only as a filmmaker and an actor, but also as an activist. “Understanding the importance of Nat Turner and projecting the story in a way that is positive and honest has been on my soul since the moment I said I need to make this film,” he says.

The film is powerful in its cinematography, its attempts at historic accuracy, and its compelling story of systemic prejudice and abuse.

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Unfortunately, the movie, which had an early Oscar buzz, may be doomed to obscurity because of resurfacing allegations that Parker raped a young woman during his college years. Although he was acquitted in court in 2001, the news is threatening to overshadow his work. Time will tell if The Birth of a Nation will survive its controversial creator, as well as its controversial message that for the oppressed, sometimes the way to redemption is by the sword. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)