There is something to be said of a person who does not know when to stop and listen a message that has left them in the past. I watched this film and cried because I have spent my adult life keeping myself and my children out of the "system". I have spent teaching my children that they are more than what white society is trying to pin on them. To read a review that basically regurgitates all of the right leaning rhetoric that, if they watched the film, started at the very beginning of slavery. The US was/is built on the backs of other races that the US has no intention acknowledge. <more>
The history that is taught in the US not only white washes pun intended but also teaches to have pride in a misrepresented history. To find out what contributions brown and black people made to this country is an elective in college that most white Americans will never even glance at. So to say that this film is one sided...yes it is but white America has had it one sided for over 400 years with all the strength, weight, industrial, and political power at its disposal. SO, go a look at the history from a perspective other than Rush Limbaugh and the like. You just might finally understand that brown and black lives are not a tool for whites to use at a whim but humans that have the RIGHT to be treated the same......
This documentary shines a very bright light on two fundamental issues going on in our country. The power of money and it's influence on profitable incarceration and ultimately perpetual slavery. I think it did a fabulous job of being virtually opinion free and making a point to stay focused on facts. That said, I think you have to be open to the information. By that, whether you lean right or left, it's best to digest this documentary with an open mind free of your own political thoughts and opinions. It's foundation is about slavery and how it plays a role in modern events. It <more>
suggests that slavery never went away, it merely reinvented itself to "keep up with the times", always having financial gain being the catalyst for it's continued existence. It really shines when it presents it's case on how mass incarceration is today's slavery. The direct correlation between labor based slavery of yesteryear and labor based incarceration of today is frightening in regards to similarity. You can deny it if you choose to, but if you continue to do so after seeing this presentation, then it's simply because you deny fact. When Colin Kaepernick protested the flag, though I'm a black man, I was offended by his stance. After watching this documentary however, I look at his point of view with a different lens. I don't entirely agree with his approach, but I have to admit that oppression in this country is still very alive and well. I think too many people look at oppression in traditional views like slavery and the holocaust. But in my opinion, you have to appreciate oppression as the complexity that it is, in order to acknowledge it's existence. Again this documentary does an excellent job of making that case. I won't delve too deep into why, I would just simply recommend watching it.Word of caution however. This documentary doesn't pull it's punches. It's very dark, very disconcerting regarding politics and if it hits you right, it will make you angry and sad all at once. My two children stayed in the forefront of my mind while watching this, and my heart bled for them throughout, seeing what kind of world that awaits them. I tried to be optimistic about light being brought to this issue in such a well put together way, but I believe that we as a country, still have a ways to go, seeing that someone like Trump could get so close to being President. Overall, this documentary is very important and should be seen by everyone able. Whether you lean right or left, you cannot deny some of the dirty deals made by politicians to keep their pockets lined via profitable incarceration. Real change needs to happen without question, but this documentary drives home the point that as long as "the almighty dollar" rules, don't expect much change anytime soon.
Systemic connections - a brilliant, muckraking, heartbreaking look at America (by Quinoa1984)
It's not enough to look at one thing to analyze what is wrong with it, is a key point that may get overlooked or simply not exactly the focus, but between the lines in Ava DuVernay's powerful indictment of an entire society. When you look at the systemic issues of racism in this country, slavery is the key thing, and the title refers to the 13th amendment to the constitution need a cinematic reference point, see Spielberg's Lincoln for more , and how one small line in the amendment referring to how slavery is outlawed except, kinda, sorta, for criminals, is paramount in how <more>
black people and bodies have been treated in the 150 years since the end of the Civil War.Because at extremely crucial times in history, like right after the signing of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, black people were not in positions of power or government or, of course, in business as this doc goes very in depth on , figures who spouted 'Law and Order' and "War on Drugs" made life not a matter of inconvenience or difficult for blacks, it was more like a refitting or metamorphosis of the sort of principle that went into slavery - keep everyone repressed and afraid, and if they get out of line they have to work and work for no wages and have little rights - into the modern age. Anyone can look up the statistics about how high the prison incarceration rates have gone up over the past 45 years this despite the fact that, at least since the 1990's, crime rates have gone down generally speaking nationwide , and particularly for African Americans the struggle is that, well, 1 out of 3 black men will go to prison in their lifetimes vs how much smaller that ratio is for whites .DuVernay's film is a mix of a variety of talking heads, muckraking information that might be out of a Michael Moore film about things like the ALEC company and the like who formulate actual legislation that is pro-for-profit prisons, and footage from the likes of Nixon and Reagan's most damning points looking "Presidential" while distorting the truth and the even more damning points from their advisers caught on tape how they actually were going about specifically going after minorities as "threats" to the system . Constantly here, the thing is, nothing is in a vacuum. What we see from The Birth of a Nation by Griffith incidentally I saw this doc mere hours after seeing Parker's new film, so this almost picks up where he left off , was that there actually was a film that one can say really did inspire people to commit acts of violence: hyping up the KKK to become a dominant force after years of being dormant and unpopular, by painting blacks as the "savages" that will come and rape and pillage your precious whites.So much in that film may seem awful and hateful now, but also these sorts of images continue to be perpetuated, is what DuVernay is saying, and things are interconnected all the time; what happened with the Central Park Five in 1989; Willie Horton; Bill Clinton's crime bill; Mandatory Mininums; Trayvon Martin and Ferguson; all of these companies making bills for politicians that they can literally *fill in the blank* with their state name, which calls to question what a country is if corporations are writing bills. There's so much to unpack in the film, but as a director DuVernay keeps things moving at a pace that is electrifying but also never hard to take in. I'd want to watch this again more-so to admire the touches of filmmaking, all of the text pieces she puts up to accompany song transitions Public Enemy for one , than even to take in pieces of information she puts out.Also fascinating is how she puts the variety of talking heads here: we get people like Charlie Rangel who was once very tough on crime and regrets it today and mayor David Dinkins and Cory Booker and Angela Davis, but we also get to see Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist and a sort of spokesman for one of these ALEC type of companies I forget his name . Having them juxtaposed with figures who have seen how awful this country has treated people of color in the justice system with drug laws that are meant to make criminal that's a word that comes back again and again makes for a viewing experience that can be startling but it keeps you on your toes. Will they possibly say something reasonable or reprehensible? Some watching it may not even know who Norquist is - I should think DuVernay made this film to last, not just for the 2016 year, albeit clips from Clinton and Trump, the latter some of the explosive racist moments at his campaign stops in the crowds, make it timely - but it shouldn't matter too much.13th gives you a massive amount of facts and statistics, but it's never a lecture, and if it's a plea it's that people should realize real reforms don't or really can't happen overnight. Minds and attitudes need to change on a more fundamental level, where *centuries* of oppression have kept metastasizing like a cancer. And at the center of it is DuVernay creating a conversation and narrative that inspires a great many emotions, mostly sadness and anger, but is just as palpable as in her film Selma. A must-see.
RATING: ☆☆☆☆½ out of 5 THIS FILM IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. IN BRIEF: A thought-provoking film that demands prison reform. GRADE: B+ SYNOPSIS: A documentary that questions race and our corrupt system of justice. JIM'S REVIEW: CRIMINAL...that's the main word that is projected non-stop throughout Ava DuVernay's documentary, 13th. The film focuses on a strange loophole in our 13th Amendment that abolished slavery, "except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted". That cautionary clause helps to make an interesting theory of <more>
contention as this film tries to link its political fallout which may have contributed to the recent widespread incarceration of many African-African men in America as a legitimized form of slavery. Slave labor disguised as prison labor becomes the American Way. This film is currently streaming on Netflex and in theaters in select cities. ￼Ms. DuVernay begins her cinematic indictment of the criminal justice system with President Obama's statement about today's prisons and the ongoing arrests of many black men. This lays the groundwork to make her case about the savage treatment of one race by another. In essence, she shows a time-capsule history lesson that encapsulates the political changes that impact and justify our nation's prejudices. With powerful archival footage and photographs going back to early views of Negroes and their third class treatment after the so-called end of slavery in the mid-1800's, the director delves into the issue of slavery, first with clips from Birth of a Nation and its pro-KKK stance and scenes of racial hatred against many African-Americans. She then addresses segregation and Jim Crow in the 40's and 50's eras, which led to civil unrest and protests, and finally, the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Granted, there is too much material on view to capture the social turmoil of a nation, but she has a strong grasp of events. ￼Along with Ms. DuVernay, we saw hope for a united country dwindled as the call for law and order in the 70's became Richard Nixon's platform, built on hate, distrust, and fear sounding eerily familiar nowadays as well and going into the 80's with Ronald Reagan's war on drugs and his trickle-down economics that caused an upswing of poverty in our country. These policies created an all-out attack to communities of color. In 1994 leading to the 2000's, beginning with Bill Clinton's era, the director hones in on a federal crime bill that introduced the "three strikes" rule for felons, those arrested on lesser crimes, getting mandatory prison sentences for minor infractions. This domino effect has increased the prison population by one million more prisoners in the next ten years, Nearly 900,000 were African-American convicts as the prison population grew into the millennium and remains mostly black today. All of this history is skillfully assembled and very well edited by Spencer Averick in this provocative documentary about mass incarceration. ￼Graphically, black and white animation and bold block letters reinforce her message on the war on crime, as she uses rap music, yesterday's headlines, television footage, and endless interviews by politicians, former presidents, professors, pundits, and community activists to add gravitas to her film. She even delves into past campaign ads that were based on ignorance and sensationalized statements against a minority or anyone who supported a black cause. Disturbing footage by both presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump making racial slurs, is also included. The masterful cuts depicts images of violence and loathsome words from Mr. Trump and his avid supporters at his rallies and mixes these "God-fearing Americans" with actual footage of 60's Civil Rights protesters being pummeled and shoved. This segment becomes the most powerful and controversial part of this film. Yes, with all its good intentions, 13th gets too self-righteous and tries to cover too much territory to prove this case of social injustice. The view becomes slightly imbalanced and relies a bit too heavily on the African-American speakers spouting pride and outrage. Yet this is an accomplished film, unafraid to sidestep political issues, even as it detours into the deadly shooting of Treyvon Martin, undocumented immigration, the Black Lives Matter movement, and police brutality. The film gets caught up in its own rhetoric and loses its way from the central issue of prison incarceration. Nevertheless, the film makes its arguments very persuasively. ￼While it does take a non-partisan look, blaming both Democratic and Republican parties and asking for new laws to revamp the prison injustice, it still overstates its message. It questions everything, from the legislative and judicial branches of government to social and economic strife in African American and Latino neighborhood, but never places any blame on the individuals who commit the crimes. Their actions are never held accountable, but everyone else's action are. Ava DuVernay's 13th is a sobering awakening of an important issue in need of reform. The body count of prisoners continues to rise...CRIMINAL, indeed. See this film.
Definitely something everyone should see! (by Hellmant)
'13TH': Four and a Half Stars Out of Five The new documentary about the excessive racism in the United States criminal justice system, which is still going on today. The film is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; which outlawed slavery, except as a punishment for a crime. The film argues that slavery is still going on today, through the unfair racist imprisonment of minorities. It was directed, co-produced and co-written by Ava DuVernay; who also directed the critically acclaimed 2014 biopic 'SELMA' which obviously also dealt with <more>
racism . The movie was distributed by Netflix, and it's received mostly positive reviews from critics; it was also nominated for Best Documentary Feature, at the upcoming Academy Awards. I think it's a very well made, and important film. The movie was filmed in secrecy, and it contains several interviews with prominent political figures; all discussing issues of racism, in the US criminal justice system. The overwhelming consensus is that minorities primarily African Americans and Hispanics are unfairly targeted by police; they're then also treated unfairly by our court system. Due to their financial struggles, they're unable to defend themselves in any way as well. Our prisons also partner with big businesses, to use these prisoners as slaves essentially .I've definitely heard the film's basic thesis before; and some of the information presented in the movie isn't new at all. Still, it's all presented in a way that makes it a very tough argument to dismiss. I definitely agree with what DuVernay, and others, are saying in this movie; and I think she did an outstanding job brining it all together. Like 'BEFORE THE FLOOD', from earlier last year, this is arguably one of the most important movies of 2016. I think It's definitely something everyone should see!Watch our movie review show 'MOVIE TALK' at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v 1M9osPwjfbM
This is a really thought-provoking piece. As a white, middle-class person of some privilege in leafy England, there was a lot to take in, building on much of what I already knew the delights of ALEC, for example .I love the way the film-maker re-threaded early historical footage showed in the early parts of the film again later on, but under different audio that gives a really bloody powerful sense of history repeating itself. This as a powerful piece, and a must-see. It seems some negative reviews on this platform are knee-jerk reactions from affronted white people who probably need to be a <more>
bit more honest with themselves and the world they live in. This is where corporate America gets into bed with Republican AND Democratic lawmakers to destroy the equality of opportunity that a fair society would want. And now Trump replaces Obama to condemn a country to four years in reverse. This much becomes obvious when watching a masterclass like this.
Fascinating insight into the phenomenon of mass Incarceration in US Correctional facilities. (by markgorman)
I should start by saying that I am not North American.I am a Scotsman. A Caucasian Scotsman at that.And yes, a Liberal.I love the United States and my experiences there have been universally positive. But these were experiences in areas of privilege and that are essentially cleansed for tourists. Largely Liberal areas where whites and people of colour live in harmony Manhattan, Florida, California, Chicago city centre, Toronto .In these places I did not see the ghettos and the communities of colour that this shocking documentary uncovers and that has spurred on the whole Where Black Lives <more>
Matter movement.The title refers to the 13th Amendment to the American constitution that was passed in 1864 and aimed to abolished slavery once and for all.What 13th sets out to expose is the centuries long political outcome, that has resulted in 'Mass Incarceration' mainly of black and coloured men in the USA.Plea bargaining is one of the most heinous causes of it. Because without money and facing massive gambles 97% of Black men plead guilty to avoid a trail where sentences will be massive due to minimum incarceration legislation.In other words they can plead guilty to a crime they did not commit and receive perhaps a three year sentence. Or they can fight their conviction and, if unsuccessful, face a 30 year Minimum Incarceration, without parole, term.The odds don't look good. So, they typically take the rap and plea bargain.Under this type of increasingly aggressive legislation and successive governments' "War on Drugs" and "War on crime" the US Prison population has risen from 200,000 to 2.5 million since 1970.Incidentally Crack cocaine conviction Black working class, inner city has a significantly longer incarceration minimum to powder cocaine conviction White, suburban. The US has only 5% of the worlds population, but 25% of world's prison population.1 in 17 of white men in the USA are incarcerated, but 1 in 3 of Black men are. Black men represent 6.5% of the US Population, but 40.2% of the prison population. Does this mean black men in the USA are intrinsically criminal?No it does not.It means , the film-makers argue, that there is a political will in all parties and for many, many years to incarcerate black men as a form of replacement of slavery.It is big business. ALEC represents the financial interests of corporations. It makes politicians look tough."The War on Crime" literally, wins votes and Democrats are as guilty of it as Republicans.Mass incarceration is the new slavery. Which was replaced by Convict Leasing, lynchings, the Ku Klux Klan, the Jim Crow segregation laws. And Yet it was only AFTER and DESPITE the Civil Rights Act that Mass Incarceration became the 'solution'.But there is hope. Hillary Clinton is planning to redesign the incarceration regime that her husband dramatically escalated as started by Obama; the first ever President to visit a Prison and who oversaw the first drop in incarceration numbers in 40 years.As Trump says with glee . "In the good old days this wouldn't happen blacks protesting at his events because they treated them rough. They'd carry them out on a stretcher."It's a mess and this documentary makes Ia right good job of exposing it.OK it's very one-sided and it is represented by extremely articulate coloured American middle class academics and commentators. But they were not always thus.I, for one, think it's a thing of greatness and I'd urge you to watch it.
Important movie - slightly politically calculated (by RussHog)
This is a movie that needed to be made to talk about the 13th amendment - the rise of the prison industrial complex - and the laws passed that have unfairly targeted black communities. My country too often ignores the reality we were once a slave empire - and even when slavery ended - the black communities have never known true freedom. However - it falls flat when it begins to show the Clinton's apologizing for their role in the mass incarceration - and the film seems to asks its audience to forgive them. The Clinton's should take all the heat for the rest of their lives - and in an <more>
election year I felt this film was a little soft on them.That aside - it is about time that someone took on the prison industrial complex. There is one story of a wrongly accused teenager who spends three years in solitary confinement - because he refuses to plea out to a crime he did not commit. The footage of him in jail is harrowing - and it made me feel so much anger and pain for him and his family. Another story tells about the amount of products made by prison labor - including some of the biggest corporate labels we take for granted in our daily lives.It's not a Ken Burns level of documentary - but it is an important subject matter and hopefully it leads to more discussion in the future.
Acclaimed African-American filmmaker Ava Duvernay who helmed the critically-acclaimed movie "Selma" tries her hand at documentary direction with "13th". And no, this has nothing to do with Jason Voorhees, or Dan Marino for that matter. With "13th", Duvernay takes an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality. It is a very cerebral & important documentary and Duvernay's directorial effort should be lauded. Now, is it the most riveting documentary I have seen? Not really. But <more>
it's definitely one that should be seen by all. **** Good