DVD cover: 13thby Ava DuVernay
Netflix, 2016
100 min

13th (100 mins) offers a brief history of racial inequality in the US, unveiling how legislation and policies meant to help reduce racial inequity have been subverted by strategies to continue to oppress and even enslave people of color.

Starting from the Emancipation Proclamation, the film reveals how slavery through incarceration (a 13th Amendment exception) – and policies to support the incarceration of people of color – have been used to control and suppress.

Director Ava DuVernay includes interviews with prominent experts, scholars, leaders, activists, and conservative voices. She also effectively uses real footage, animations, and music by black artists to illustrate important themes.

The film provides important insights and context into the racist criminal justice and legal systems and policies that have arisen to oppress people of color. It also highlights, as DuVernay notes, that “… every person who is in prison is not a criminal, that all crimes are not created equal, that all sentences are not equal.”

Use the film to bring awareness to the complexities and injustices of the US criminal justice system and to the long history of racism and violence that has been used to subjugate people of color.