Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation received heaps of praise following its Sundance premiere. Our own Jason Bailey called it a “hand grenade thrown at America’s racist legacy,” and it was acquired for a record $17.5 million. The response was everything Parker could have wanted for his passion project and debut directorial effort, which he also wrote and stars in. But, for those of us not lucky enough to attend Sundance, we were left wondering: could this thing really be that good?
We still don’t have an answer, but we at least have a hint. Today, the first teaser trailer dropped for The Birth of a Nation, and it’s intense as hell. It opens with Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit” and transitions to an impassioned voiceover from Parker as the real-life slave rebellion leader Nat Turner. We’ve seen a fair share of dramatizations of this time period in the past few years, but none of them rang with this kind of heat.
Though this will surely be the star-making moment for Parker, it also stars Gabrielle Union, Colman Domingo, Armie Hammer, and Jackie Earle Haley.
Watch the trailer below. It’ll be in theaters come October 7.