Monday, October 10, 2016

The Birth of a Nation and 13th film billboards...

Birth of a Nation movie billboard
Today we shine a spotlight on two billboard creatives drawing their inspiration from America's iconic Stars and Stripes flag, both concerning African American civil rights and injustices.
Ava DuVernay 13th documentary billboard
With the current U.S. Presidential Election raising important issues like the nation's class divide, fatal police shootings and the death of black people in police custody, institutional racism, and candidates like Donald Trump fanning the flames of racial hatred, you can understand why this red, white and blue symbol may not mean the same thing to every citizen and why people may choose not to stand proudly for the national anthem.
13th documentary billboard
They say that history is written by the victors, or those in power, and so Nate Parker's debut feature, The Birth of a Nation, which dramatizes the story erased from history about the black slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Virginia in 1831 is very timely and important.
Birth of a Nation film billboard
However the critically-acclaimed film, which everyone had hoped would be up for Oscar consideration, is also mired in controversy, with rape allegations against the director and his co-writer and Penn State University college roommate, Jean Celestin, of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman who has since taken her own life.

So the dilemma is, do you support the film for its historical significance, or boycott the movie because of those involved in making it (as people have previously done with projects from Woody Allen and Roman Polanski).
13th Netflix documentary billboard
Meanwhile Ava DuVernay, the director of Martin Luther King Jr. drama Selma, also has these provocative and powerful billboards around L.A. at the moment for her Netflix documentary, 13th (titled for the 13th amendment that abolished slavery), about how mass incarceration is an extension of slavery as people have profited from it and the inherently racist U.S. justice system.
13th documentary film billboard
These striking 13th documentary billboards, featuring a chained convict wrapped in the stripes of the national flag, were photographed along the Sunset Strip and Santa Monica Boulevard on October 3, 2016.
Birth of a Nation Stars and Stripes billboard
Meanwhile this cleverly designed movie billboard for The Birth of a Nation, which features stripes made up of slaves fighting for their freedom and their enslavers, was snapped at Fox Studios along Pico Boulevard on October 1, 2016.
13th Netflix documentary billboard
For more great examples of how different films and documentaries have used the U.S. flag to convey their premise, be sure to also check out this billboard for The Purge: Anarchy, these documentary billboards for Under the Gun and this Americons movie billboard.
13th documentary billboard
Black Lives Matter, and this election year your vote matters even more than ever for continuing to strive for progress, justice and equality.
Birth of a Nation US Flag billboard
UPDATED: The 13th documentary ad creative gets an update with critical reviews from the likes of The New York Times, Rolling Stone and Los Angeles Times. 
13th documentary reviews billboard
Let's see if this new billboard snapped on October 21, 2016 along the Sunset Strip is part of Netflix's early Oscar campaigning for the documentary.
13th documentary reviews billboard
UPDATED: Netflix is giving its timely 13th documentary feature some super-sized support along the Sunset Strip with this giant 'Now more than ever' billboard spied along the Sunset Strip on December 19, 2016.
Giant 13th Now more than ever billboard
And if you haven't already watched this illuminating documentary film, take the time, because if you thought big corporations and the government were screwing with you up until now, just wait to see what 2017 has in store for us all.
13th Now more than ever billboard
UPDATED: Netflix continues to unveil strong imagery for its awards campaigning for Ava DuVernay's powerful 13th documentary feature.
13th documentary The Past Netflix billboard
13th documentary is Present Netflix billboard
This duo of billboards snapped on opposite sides of the eastbound Sunset Strip on December 27, 2016, are especially evocative of times past and our current social and political climates.
13th The Past is Present Netflix billboards Sunset Strip
13th best documentary of year billboard
UPDATED: Yes, you can certainly tell that Netflix doesn't want to miss out on the industry accolades for 13th as more and more consideration billboards continue to pop up around L.A., like these snapped along the Sunset Strip and Santa Monica Boulevard on December 29, 2016.
13th best documentary of year billboard
UPDATED: Here's another powerful ad for the documentary film spotted above Beverly Boulevard on January 14, 2017.
13th Best documentary of the year billboard
Plus here's the Oscar and BAFTA nominee billboard version snapped along Melrose Avenue on February 1, 2017.
13th Oscar nominee billboard
UPDATED: Plus the BAFTA-winning documentary also received this 'Over 200 years in 100 minutes' version spied in the same Melrose Avenue location on February 12, 2017.
13th Oscar nominee documentary billboard
UPDATED: The documentary may have missed out on an Oscar, but there's still a chance for 13th to take home an Emmy or two as it's nominated for eight, as this billboard snapped along La Brea Avenue on August 22, 2017 illustrates.
13th documentary Emmy nominee billboard
UPDATED: In the aftermath of George Floyd's death, Netflix highlighted a Black Lives Matter Collection on its streaming platform, including the 13th, and the streamer has also been shining a spotlight on this content in the city skyline, like with this billboard photographed along Olympic Boulevard on July 8, 2020.
13th Black Lives Matter Netflix billboard
And here's another ad format of the same creative spotted along Fairfax Avenue on July 21, 2020.
13th Black Lives Matter Netflix billboard

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