By Nick Romano
Updated July 16, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT

The Birth of a Nation, the Sundance award-winning sensation written and directed by Nate Parker, who also stars as a preacher who sparked a rebellion among his fellow slaves in Southampton County, Virginia during 1831, debuted a powerful and bold poster on TIDAL.

The image is a striking one considering current events: It’s a time when the Black Lives Matter movement resurges over the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling; it’s a time when President Barack Obama is preparing to leave office as Donald Trump, a man criticized for fueling bigotry, is eyeing the White House.

The poster features a black-and-white bust of Parker’s Nat Turner as he’s strangled by a noose made from the American flag. “[Healing] can only come through an honest confrontation with our past,” Parker wrote of the image. “Do we have the courage to examine the true Birth of this Nation?”


Actor Kendrick Sampson (How to Get Away With Murder) responded to the image on Twitter. “This ‘Birth of a Nation’ poster disturbs my soul. Powerful and accurate,” he wrote.

In theaters Oct. 7, the film also features Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Mark Boone Jr., Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja Naomi King, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith, and Gabrielle Union.

The Birth of a Nation

  • Movie
  • R
  • 120 minutes
  • Nate Parker