Intolerance. D. W. Griffith. 1916.
Some terrific sequences- parallel chases intercut in the climax, the battle scenes and spectacular set design all around (especially in the Babylon section) notwithstanding, the supposed Intolerances of these 4 stories separated by many distances of space and time seem too pat and politically problematic whether it is the unattractive sexless women who choose to cleanse the city of all sin-especially some fun; or the evil Cyrus with his army of Ethiopians(?!) and Barbarians(?!) against the towering Babylonian paradise. The other story is marked by its Protestant Christianity as it demonises (and feminizes) Catholicism; and the film ends with the crucifixion. This, in spite of the story that I heard that this was his reply to the flak he got for the racism of ‘The Birth of the Nation’. Art rails against intolerance but is blind to its own.
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