Oh, what to make of this movie because of the ending? The first 90% is quite powerful and technically accomplished, with nuanced acting (in the midst of typical silent screen theatrics) and a three part parallel structure. Its direct indictment of the ways that religion is used to exploit people and their willing participation is compelling. However, the end sequence is so jarring that these themes evaporated.
Devant la description d'un ministre du culte aussi immonde et pervers, fut-il noir, la censure de l'époque raccourcit l'œuvre d'une bonne quinzaine de minutes, lui octroyant de plus un dénouement positif, d'une candeur et d'une irréalité hautement risibles... www.cinefiches.com
Independent African-American silent cinema! Produced, directed and written by Oscar Micheaux. Starring the incredible Paul Robeson in dual roles as the wicked preacher and his good, decent brother. The corny ending was necessitated by the censors, who wouldn't allow the negative depiction of a man of the cloth. We cannot hear Robeson's beautiful voice in this silent film, but he is still magnificent.