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New film historical treatments of the Spanish-American War are analogous in certain ways to Clyde Taylor's description of film studies' treatment of D.W. Griffith's blockbuster The Birth of a Nation (1915). According to Taylor:

[The Birth of a Nation's] great power in manipulating formal strategies has won it voluminous attention and respect as an aesthetic achievement. . . . [Since]. . . the central theme of the work is the unification of national sentiment around the theme of miscegenation as a threat to "civilization,". . .the neglect of this theme in the aesthetic dialogue surrounding the film amounts to a curious evasion of the question of meaning. (22)
Spanish-American War films have received attention in a different way by film historians, who privilege them for their economic importance to the film industry in the post-novelty period.