In February 1915, director D. W. Griffith premiered “The Birth of a Nation” in Los Angeles. Based on Thomas Dixon’s novel, The Clansman, the film presented Reconstruction from the viewpoint of the Confederacy, glorifying the Ku Klux Klan and vilifying blacks as brutes, buffoons, and rapists. Griffith combined cinematic innovations with mass appeal to produce the film industry’s first extravaganza. The NAACP launched a nationwide campaign to expose the film’s distorted history and halt its showing. The campaign did not stop whites from seeing the film in record numbers, but in some cities the most offensive scenes were cut and in others the entire film was banned.