Past screening

The 13TH

Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Runtime: 1hr 40min Year: 2016
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Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Runtime: 1hr 40min Year: 2016
Country: United States

Directed and produced by Ava DuVernay, The 13th explores how mass incarceration in America evolved to its current epic proportions and what the ramifications are for communities of colour across the country.

★★★★ “a powerful work of history and a lucid argument for change.” – Dave Calhoun, Time Out

The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanising documentary 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 criminalisation 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.