- 3 hr 17 min
Intolerance, a silent epic film directed by D.W. Griffith, was released in 1916. The movie is a historical drama that explores four different stories from different eras, united by the theme of intolerance. It is a thrilling tale of love and sacrifice, hate, and prejudice, set in different time periods. The movie starts with a prologue set in the modern era. It depicts a scene of a woman holding her child and begging for mercy on behalf of her husband who is on death row. However, the court refuses her request, and the man is executed, leaving the woman and the child to the mercy of society. The message is strong, suggesting that intolerance can bring disastrous consequences even in modern times, when people are supposed to be more tolerant than their ancestors. The story then moves to ancient Babylon, where a ruler named Belshazzar organizes an extravagant festival. The city is full of people from different cultures, including Jews, who are living there as slaves. The film spotlights this cultural clash, where people of different races and religions are forced to live together but do not understand each other. The film portrays Belshazzar as a cruel and tyrannical ruler, who is intolerant of the Jews. The drama unfolds when the Jews rebel against him and the festival turns bloody, with hundreds of people losing their lives in the melee. From ancient Babylon, the film then moves to the time of Christ. The film depicts the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, with Lillian Gish playing the part of Virgin Mary. The movie portrays the religious intolerance of the Jewish authorities that ultimately led to the crucifixion of Christ. However, the movie also highlights the love of Mary for her son and the sacrifice that both made for humanity. From the story of Christ, the film moves to the story of Huguenot persecution in France. The Huguenots were French Protestants, who were persecuted and killed by the Catholic Church in the 16th century. The film portrays the intolerance and brutal treatment of Huguenots by the Catholic Church, which caused suffering and death for many of them. Finally, the movie presents a modern love story, set in the streets of New York. The story revolves around the character of Brown Eyes (played by Mae Marsh), a young woman who is engaged to The Boy (played by Robert Harron). However, their love story is threatened by the vicious attacks of a criminal gang, who kidnap The Boy and are determined to break up their relationship. The story highlights the intolerance that exists even in modern times, in the form of violence and criminal behavior. Intolerance is a visually stunning movie, showcasing Griffith's mastery of cinematography and editing. The film features a large ensemble cast, and some of the scenes, such as the battle of Babylon and the crucifixion of Christ, are considered iconic. The film also has impressive sets and costumes, with a budget of over $2 million, a very high amount for that time. However, the film was considered controversial when it was released, mainly because of its portrayal of the Jewish people during the time of Belshazzar. The film was also criticized for its racist portrayal of African-American people in the modern storylines. Nonetheless, the film remains a masterpiece of cinema history that showcases Griffith's vision of filmmaking. In conclusion, Intolerance is an epic movie that explores the theme of intolerance through different eras of history. It highlights the devastating consequences of intolerance, including death, suffering, and destruction. The film is a visual masterpiece, showcasing Griffithâs unique style of filmmaking, with stunning sets, costumes, and cinematography. While the film has been criticized for its portrayal of the Jewish people and African-Americans, it remains a classic of world cinema that stands the test of time.