How NFL Films is changing the way you watch the game
Hollywood has been grappling with the fallout from the release of the hit documentary “The Birth of a Nation,” which chronicled the racist attacks on Native Americans in the South.
The documentary sparked protests across the country and even led to the resignation of former NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The protests led to an industrywide boycott of ESPN and other networks, and many analysts have speculated that it was the first step in the change in the way viewers watch sports.
“The birth of a nation” chronicles the enslavement and killing of the first African Americans in America.
But that doesn’t mean viewers can’t still see the footage of lynchings and violence as they were.
“We don’t want the NFL to be the only place you see the violent images, but we do want to give you the context,” ESPN Vice President of Content and Sports Content, Michael Chew, told reporters last week.
“I’m a huge fan of the film, and I’m always fascinated by the history of lynching, but I think there’s something really valuable to us, the history, the reality behind that, and that is what’s being captured on the screen.”
That means viewers can see how the United States was used as a staging ground for white supremacist violence and how the country was shaped by racism.
Chew explained that he wants to give viewers a sense of the racial underpinnings of the American Civil War.
“Our hope is that by revealing the history and the context, and giving you a sense to the people who lived through that time, it opens up a window into how they lived their lives,” Chew said.
Chey told reporters that the documentary’s release was the catalyst for the industry to change its approach to the topic.
“It was an important moment for us to be more engaged with that issue and more willing to acknowledge that this is something we can’t ignore,” he said.
“And that means that we have to look at that, but also not only take it seriously, but make it a part of our storytelling.”
Chew also noted that the “The Death of a Legend” documentary, which was filmed in South Africa in the 1980s and which features a black actor playing a white rebel in the early days of apartheid, was also controversial.
“There’s a lot of historical context and context behind the film and a lot that is not as well known about that period of history,” Chey said.
ESPN Films and ESPN Theatres will continue to produce and distribute the film.
The film will be released on June 12, 2019.
It was directed by Mark Burnett, and it will be distributed by ESPN Films.
The NFL Films film is based on the life of Robert E. Lee, who led the Confederacy during the Civil War and who was the president of the Confederacy from 1861 to 1865.
“To watch the film is to witness the bloodiest period of America’s history and to be reminded that slavery was an abhorrent practice, and yet it continued, was alive and kicking in the minds of a generation,” Burnett said in a statement.
“My hope is to show that, when you see these events unfold, you can’t help but think about the millions of Americans who struggled to survive and to find their way.
The Birth of the Nation” is produced by ESPN.
Theatrical and Digital Licenses for the film are available on the NFL Films website.