Two families, abolitionist Northerners the Stonemans and Southern landowners the Camerons, intertwine in director D.W. Griffith's controversial Civil War epic. When Confederate colonel Ben Cameron (Henry B. Walthall) is captured in battle, nurse Elsie Stoneman (Lillian Gish) petitions for his pardon. In Reconstruction-era South Carolina, Cameron founds the Ku Klux Klan, battling Elsie's congressman father (Ralph Lewis) and his African-American protégé, Silas Lynch (George Siegmann).
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