The first trailer for 13th, from Ava DuVernay (Selma), is a searing indictment on the enslavement of the black community in the United States via the 13th amendment and the political and financial explosion of the for-profit US prison system. The documentary, the first from DuVernay, features archival footage and testimonies from activists, politicians, and historians, including Michelle Alexander, Bryan Stevenson, Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Angela Davis, Senator Cory Booker, Grover Norquist, Khalil Muhammad, Craig DeRoche, Shaka Senghor, Malkia Cyril and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Clips of Donald Trump and both Hillary and President Bill Clinton in a very unflattering light based on comments made in the 1990s find themselves incredibly relevant in the current firestorm of the 2016 election and the unprecedented visibility of murders of black people by white police officers in the camera-ready world that we inhabit today.
13th premieres on Netflix, in a full global launch of all countries and territories, on October 7th, which is incidentally the very same day as Nate Parker’s slave rebellion film The Birth of a Nation hits theaters. 13th will also open this year’s New York Film Festival on September 30th.
[box type=”shadow” align=”” class=”” width=””]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 criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.[/box]
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