SACRAMENTO — Sacramento Kings star center DeMarcus Cousins viewed the film “Birth of a Nation” over the weekend. He also heard and read about the critics who have deemed the flick a disappointment and a flop.
Cousins, sharing his take on the movie directed and produced by Nate Parker, told The OBSERVER that the film was “excellent” and he may go see it again. More importantly, Cousins came to a reasonable assessment of the negativity the film has garnished.
“When It comes to the truth nobody wants to hear about it,” Cousins said right before the Kings played Maccabi Haifa Tel Aviv in a preseason match in Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center. “What I took from it is the truth. When I saw all those postings (on social networks) I thought it was crazy. The movie ‘12 Years a Slave’ hit numbers. But when the truth comes out (about a rebellion) it don’t sell. To me, it was excellent.”
Birth of a Nation is based enslaved Nat Turner, who at the age of 30 and a well-versed Baptist preacher, led a rebellion against slave owners in Southampton County in 1831.
Budgeted at $10 million, the film made a modest $7 million in its opening weekend. The figures are actually admirable since it was released in limited theaters across the country. Parker is also the star and co-writer of the film.
“I almost shed a tear for this one,” Cousins said of Birth of a Nation. “I did cry after seeing 12 Years A Slave. That movie bothered me for about three days.”
One scene in A Birth of a Nation that disturbed Cousins was when a little White girl was running out the front door of a cotton plantation’s Antebellum mansion with a long rope. Behind the girl emerged a little Black girl, enslaved, with the rope tied around her neck.
“I was like, ‘Whoa. They were doing that back then?’” Cousins said in response to the theatrical showing of humility and inhumanity. “Yes, they were. Now that’s history.”
Kings guard Garrett Temple, seated next to Cousins in the locker room, overheard his teammate’s review and chimed in. Temple’s description of the movie was said in one word before he fully expanded on his thoughts.
“Powerful,” Temple said. “Powerful movie. I knew about Nat Turner but I didn’t know the full story of how he was a God-fearing preacherman, how was able to reach his people, and how they tried to use him to keep slaves in line.”
Temple was also taken aback how the depiction of slavery was shown in its utmost form of cruelty. Many African Americans have heard of the abuse explained by their forefathers. But cinematically, Birth of a Nation leaves no stone unturned.
“You hear about it but to see it. It’s those type of things that you can’t imagine,” Temple said. “I think it’s good for that to be put out there for the public so people can understand that that’s how it used to be. It’s a history lesson.”
Kings Honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month
During the game against Maccabi Haifa, the Sacramento Kings hosted a “Pink in the Paint” themed night at Golden 1 Center to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention and support resources.
Kings players wore pink headbands, wristbands, shoelaces, socks and tape and coaches wore pink ties and pink ribbon lapel pins in honor of survivors.
The Kings Foundation and Kaiser Permanente partnered with Bright Pink, an organization dedicated to the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.
“This our fourth annual ‘Pink in the Paint Night,” said Kings President and Chief Operating Officer. “We just want to have fun with it because it’s such an important cause to the extent that we can shine the light on this issue.”
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer