Fresh off the back of more police shootings in the States and an increasingly prevalent and important Black Lives Matter movement comes this powerful new Netflix documentary from Selma director Ava DuVernay. The trailer for 13TH was released last night and offers an eye-opening glimpse at institutionalised racial inequality in the United State prison system, where the numbers of incarcerated African Americans are compared to those during slavery days.
According the synopsis "The title of Ava DuVernay's extraordinary and galvanizing documentary 13TH refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads 'Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.' The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalisation and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity."
Taking aim at the issue with a barrage of archival footage from politicians (including Bill and Hillary Clinton and a younger Donald Trump), activists, historians and ex-prisoners, 13THisn't just essential viewing for the socially minded, it's also history making. Debuting at the New York film festival this Friday, it's the first non-fiction to open the festival - a move which says everything about the film's socio-political relevance. Catch the Netflix trailer below:
13TH debuts on Netflix on October 7.