director ava duvernay dives headfirst into the history of black criminalization and the prison industrial complex in new netflix documentary 13th

September 27, 2016

Ava Duvernay is backing down for no one. After directing Selma, and her new OWN series Queen Sugar, she’s back with another project that’s sure to raise some eyebrows and speak some truth. Her creative prowess have her on track to be one of the greatest directors of our time, and her new documentary 13TH, is a testament to her commitment to social justice even as she climbs the ranks of Hollywood. In a partnership with streaming powerhouse Netflix, Duvernay explores the 13th amendment’s slavery loophole. The amendment states that slavery will be abolished except as a punishment for crime. The documentary explores the roots, execution, societal effects and moral implications of the prison industrial complex. It asks, “how did we get here?” and some of the greatest minds in the world tell help tell that story, including Michelle Alexander (author of The New Jim Crow), Jelani Cobb (Director of the Institute for African American Studies at University of Connecticut), and NJ Senator Corey Booker. History, as a field, is most important when it can be used to prevent the mistakes of the past to plague a country or a people’s future. It’s clear that this film will shed light and open discourse on a much needed topic about our nation’s imprisoned population. Please enjoy the trailer below and look out for the documentary, set to release on October 7th.

By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor

Photo courtesy of IndieWire