The sister of the woman who accused actor Nate Parker of rape in 1999 during his college days at Penn State University is speaking out about his latest film.
Parker was acquitted of the rape charge following a high-profile trial that students say left the campus divided. His writing partner Jean Celestin, who was also involved in the incident was convincted. The young female victim who accused the pair later committed suicide in 2012, which her family attributes to the traumatizing after affects of the rape.
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Pouring her thoughts into lengthy op-ed for Variety, Sharon Loeflerr says she was disgusted by Parker and Celestin’s inclusion of a fictional storyline in their new film, Birth of A Nation, that focused on the brutal rape of a female slave at the hands of a white slave master. In the film, inspired by the historic Nat Turner slave revlolt, avenging the woman’s rape is what ultimately leads Turner (played by Parker) to jumpstart the revolt against their volatile white slave masters.
Loeflerr says she found storyline “creepy” and insulting to her sister’s memory.
“I find it creepy and perverse that Parker and Celestin would put a fictional rape at the center of their film, and that Parker would portray himself as a hero avenging that rape,” she wrote. “I take it as a cruel insult to my sister’s memory.”