New Ava DuVernay Documentary Tells The Chilling Truth Behind Mass Incarceration In America
When some people talk about the effects of slavery in this country, they like to argue that it was a long time ago. And Black folk should get over it. The argument is flawed. Not only are we still dealing with the remnants of slavery; but the way the prison industrial complex is set up, slavery just took on a different form in this country. It is this topic that filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores in her new documentary 13th.
The new film will be screened at the upcoming New York Film Festival and will have a limited theatrical release. It will have a home on Netflix.
In the trailer alone different experts talk about how after the 13th amendment abolished slavery, with the exception of those sentenced to serve jail or prison time, the narrative that Black men were inherently dangerous and criminal became pervasive in this country. And now, today, 1 of four imprisoned people in the world are living in the United States. They specifically mention Kalief Browder, the 16-year-old who was thrown into Riker’s after he was wrongly accused of stealing a backpack. He spent three years in prison waiting for a trial, two of them in solitary confinement. Even after he was acquitted and released, he had a hard time adjusting afterward and eventually took his life.
The trailer also shows clips of both presidential candidates, Clinton, Trump and former president Bill Clinton using rhetoric that played right into this billion dollar system.
New York Film Festival Director Kent Jones hailed the film as an act of “true patriotism.”
DuVernay herself said, “This film was made as an answer to my own questions about how and why we have become the most incarcerated nation in the world, how and why we regard some of our citizens as innately criminal, and how and why good people allow this injustice to happen generation after generation. I thank Kent Jones and the selection committee for inviting me to share what I’ve learned.”
13th will be streaming on Netflix on October 7.