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D.W. Griffith (1875-1948) was an important movie director of the early twentieth century and one of the founders of the Hollywood film industry.

Griffith's 1915 film Birth of a Nation—which depicted Ku Klux Klansmen as triumphant heroes—was one of the most important films in American history. A runaway box office success, it proved the viability of the Hollywood feature film as a commercial product. It also revealed the deep racism still prevalent in American society, and led to a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.

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