Micheaux's film is significant not only for its place within American film history, but also for the way it displays the complexity of race relations between people and regions.
Oscar Micheaux’s bold, forceful melodrama, from 1919—the oldest surviving feature by a black American director—unfolds the vast political dimensions of intimate romantic crises. . . . Heaven as a reward for their unquestioning submissiveness. Micheaux’s narrative manner is as daring as his subject matter, with flashbacks and interpolations amplifying the story; a remarkable twist regarding Sylvia’s identity, slipped in at the end, opens up a nearly hallucinatory historical vortex.