The trailer for the highly-anticipated documentary, The 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay has been posted online and it is a sobering reminder that mass incarceration is not accidental.
The first non-fiction film to ever open the 54th Annual New York Film Festival, The 13th is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which theoretically outlawed slavery. The full amendment reads as follows: “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, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
DuVernay’s documentary deals with the way racial inequality in the justice system means that slavery is still being perpetuated. Filmed in secrecy the movie was only revealed after it was announced as the opening film for the 2016 New York Film Festival.
Duvernay has said that the 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.”
Discussing the choice of the film to open the festival, NYFF director Kent Jones said, “While I was watching The 13th, the distinction between documentary and fiction gave way and I felt like I was experiencing something so rare: direct contact between the artist and right now, this very moment. In fact, Ava is actually trying to redefine the terms on which we discuss where we’re at, how we got here, and where we’re going. The 13th is a great film. It’s also an act of true patriotism.”
The 13th premieres on Netflix on October 7, 2016
Check out the trailer embedded and the film’s poster below: