Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Film-maker Nate Parker apologises for being ‘tone deaf’

Director Nate Parker poses for portraits at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival (Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)
Director Nate Parker poses for portraits at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival (Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

Film-maker Nate Parker, who three years ago came under scrutiny for a rape allegation from college, has apologised for his response at the time.

Speaking at the Venice International Film Festival on Sunday, Parker said he was tone deaf to things in the climate and he has learned a lot in the three years since he said he was falsely accused.

He was acquitted in the case.

“Standing here today at 39, the reality is I was quite tone deaf … to a lot of the things that happened in the climate,” Parker said at a small news conference in Venice on Sunday.

“My response obviously hurt a lot of people, frustrated and angered a lot of people, and I apologise.”

The film’s inclusion in this year’s festival, which also included the premiere of a new Roman Polanski film, was criticised by some who saw it as incongruous with the progress that has been made in the culture in the #MeToo era.

The #MeToo movement, which references a Twitter hashtag used by victims to acknowledge experiences of sexual assault and harassment, gained international momentum in October 2017 after dozens of women accused movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.

Parker was accused of sexual assault when he was a sophomore at Penn State University.

Although he was acquitted, the incident emerged in the press around the release of The Birth of a Nation, a film which many expected to win awards.

Parker responded then saying he was “falsely accused” and had been “vindicated” by the court.

Italy Venice Film Festival 2019 American Skin Portraits
Directors Nate Parker (left) and Spike Lee at Venice Film Festival (Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)

A remorseful Parker was seated alongside Spike Lee, who is supporting the film, and producers Mark Burg and Tarak Ben Ammar hours before his new film premieres at the festival to some 650 people.

“I’m still learning and growing and still feeling the need to make films that speak to things that need to change in our country and the world,” Parker said.

“And this topic was very dear to me.”

The new film, American Skin, stars Parker as an ex-Marine who sees his unarmed 14-year-old son murdered by a police officer during a traffic stop.

When the courts fail to hold the officer responsible, Parker’s character Lincoln Jefferson decides to seek justice in his own way.

Parker was inspired to write the film after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri.

“I haven’t had a film that’s affected me this deeply in a while,” said Lee, who offered to help Parker in any way he could.

“This is a very important film and I wanted to be part of it … Art can affect people’s behaviour, good or bad.

“And it is my hope that this film deals with the very serious problem with police and brown and black people in the United States of America.”

Lee said he had no reservations in putting his name behind Parker’s.

He said: “It’s a move forward. Nate is in here. He’s not hiding. He’s answering all questions.”

“This is only Nate’s second feature film, there’s a lot more in him.”

The producers did not hesitate to back a film from Parker either, even considering the fact The Birth of a Nation fizzled in cinemas.

Next week, they will take the film to the Toronto International Film Festival to screen for distributors in the hope of securing a release plan.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]