Note: Teacher preview recommended. This 1915 black-and-white silent film directed by D.W. Griffith is historically significant. Considered by many to be the one film that transformed cinema into an art form, it remains a controversial piece due to the subject matter. This film has a pro-Ku Klux Klan message, and depicts white men in blackface portraying African Americans in a negative manner. It is the story of two Southern families during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Adapted by Thomas Dixon, Jr. from his proracist writings "The Clansman" and "The Leopard's Spots." This piece should only be used as a teaching tool to demonstrate the results of propaganda and racism, or to demonstrate early silent film techniques.