With such a broad subject matter, it’s quite astonishing how director Ava DuVernay was able to weave “talking heads” with facts, figures and history footage into the coherent and thought-provoking documentary, 13th.
Starting with racism in the prison system, the film is about much more than that and covers a wide variety of issues that stem from the time of the 13th Amendment. Rather than go chronologically, the film flows from different topics but ties them all together in a way that is interesting and informative.
Let’s step back and acknowledge how incredible it is that this film opened the New York Film Festival and is available to watch just a week later on Netflix. How amazing is that? You don’t have to find an indie theater to see it. Anyone can see this with their subscription or even just sign up for a free trial to watch. For those in New York, it’s opening at the IFC Center with a Q&A with Jelani Cobb, Univ. of Connecticut professor and contributor to The New Yorker, at 7:55 show!
This film presents factual information in a way that is fair and unfortunately depressing, yet there is a sense of hope that cannot be mistaken. This is a must see.