Birth of a Nation, The

(Griffith, 1915) Music composed and compiled by Joseph Carl Breil

The controversial film about the Civil War in America that established D. W. Griffith as one of the founders of the American film industry.
Around 1860 in the south of the United States we become acquainted with the well to do Cameron family.
They are connected to a northern family, a member of Congress and his daughter (played by Lillian Gish).
The Civil War breaks out. The south loses the conflict and the Cameron family is reduced to poverty. The freed slaves control the south.
Abusing their control, one black tries to rape the Cameron daughter. She jumps to her death.
To avenge her death, her brother founds the Klu Klux Klan Meanwhile, another black tries to violate the daughter of the northern member of Congress who has been supportive of the blacks.
The Klu Klux Klan rides to her rescue, breaking the black control of the south. A very racist story, the film was credited with reviving the Klu Klux Klan and thus for being responsible for a resurgence of KKK lynchings of black people in the south. It also contained an encyclopedia of cinematic techniques that influenced the course of American film history.


Performing forces
11 players (violin I and II, cello, bass, flute/piccolo, clarinet I, trumpet I, trombone, percussion/timpani, piano, organ/synthesizer)
Performing forces
45 players (strings 7,7,6,5,4, flute/piccolo, oboe, clarinet I & II, bassoon, 2 Fr. Horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, 2 percussion, tympani, harp, organ, piano).
Percussion 2 timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, snare drum, soft sticks, horse hooves, bells, bones, bird calls, mocking bird
Rehearsals Two 2 ½ hour rehearsals with orchestra
One 3 hour hour tech rehearsal
One 3 hour 45 minute dress rehearsal with 15 minute
Performance time 2 hours, 45 minutes plus 15 minute intermission
Film speed 18 frames per second
Projection variable speed 35 mm film projector
DVD projector
artwork:Lidia Bagnoli