“Only the colored people themselves can determine their political, social and economic future.”

William Monroe Trotter

Research Film Studio

Prof. EA Kiss

This course uncovers the roots of racial injustice in Hollywood; the secret, but cardinal role Woodrow Wilson played in the production and distribution of D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation that led directly to the rebirth of the KKK and increased violence against Afro-Americans; and William Monroe Trotter’s fight against the state propaganda film. Wilson’s policy of segregation was adapted by Hollywood as a self-censoring industry regulation of representation. Black people could only appear on screen as subservient and marginal characters, never as equals, partners or leaders. This code, Wilson’s legacy, has become second nature to Hollywood.


Propaganda and State Sanctioned Violence

Film essay and montage on state violence; re-cutting exercise, satirical subversion of The Birth of a Nation, Lizzie Borden museum vitrine

“The Theory of Political Propaganda” in: American Political Science Review

Harold Lasswell


“Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures”

Erwin Panofsky


Heart of the World

D. W. Griffith


Broken Blossoms

D. W. Griffith


Born in Flames

Lizzie Borden



Raoul Peck


Website concept and design: Erika A. Kiss & Sabi

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