Arts & Life

The Many Faces of Nat Turner

Documentary Uses Drama to Portray 1831 Slave Revolt Leader

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Nat Turner's 1831 "confessions," allegedly dictated while he was in jail shortly before his hanging. Library of Congress hide caption

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In 1831, Nat Turner led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Va., that killed more than 50 white people. An independent film debuting on PBS examines The Confessions of Nat Turner, William Styron's controversial 1967 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Turner's alleged jailhouse statements and other versions of the insurrection leader's story.

The documentary, Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property, features dramatizations by five different actors playing Turner — each one depicting a different author's view. Pat Dowell reports.

» Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property

Background on Turner, the film, and a video preview.



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