Director: D. W. Griffith, 1915

PLEASE NOTE: This is an NTSC (USA/JAPAN format) Region A DVD

Almost a century after its release, THE BIRTH OF A NATION remains one of the most controversial films ever made… a landmark achievement that continues to

fascinate and enrage audiences.

It is the epic story of two families, one northern and one southern, during and after the American Civil War. D.W. Griffith’s masterful direction combines brilliant battle scenes and tender romance with a vicious portrayal of African Americans.

It was the greatest feature-length blockbuster yet to be in the US, and the first to be shown in the White House. After seeing the film, President Woodrow Wilson declared it was “like writing history with lightening!” In cities and states across America, the film energised the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), which tried to have the film banned, or at least the most gruesome scenes censored. The film also inspired African Americans to move into filmmaking as a way to offer alternative images and stories.

Special features:

DISC 1 – Blu-ray

Newly mastered in HD from archival 35mm print

Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (2011), in 2.0 Stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

Spoken introductions by D.W. Griffith and Walter Huston (including the newly rediscovered intermission sequence).


The Birth of a Nation, restored by David Shepard of Film Preservation Associates in 1993.

Orchestral score adapted in 1993 from the original score by Joseph Carl Breil, in 2.0 stereo.

"The making of The Birth of a Nation” (24 min)Produced by David Shepard; Compiled and written by Russell Merritt.


Civil War shorts directed by D. W, Griffith:

(Music by Jon C. Mirsalis unless indicated)

In the Border States (1910, 16 min).

The House With Closed Shutters

(1910, 17 min).

The Fugitive (1910, 17 min).

His Trust (1910, 14 min)

Courtesy of David Shepard; Musical setting complied and arranged by Robert Israel;

Performed by the Biograph Quartet His Trust Fulfilled (1910, 11 min).

Swords and Hearts (1911, 16 min)

The Battle (1911, 17 min)

“New York vs. The Birth of a Nation” Archival documents pertaining to the censorship battles over the film’s 1922 re-release.

Excerpts of souvenir program books

Film details:

USA 1915 Colour tinted 192 min 1.33:1

1920 x 1080p

Directed by D. W. Griffith

Photographed by G. W. Bitzer

Screenplay by D. W. Griffith

and Frank E. Woods

Based on the novel The Clansmen by Thomas Dixon

With Henry B. Walhall, Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh

Musical score compiled and performed by

The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Produced for video by Bret Wood

Spoken introductions and additional footage courtesy of Library of Congress Packed Campus for Audio Visual Conservation