Coming in as a bit of a surprise, Ava DuVernay’s latest film is a documentary that cuts to the heart of contemporary American society: our shameful history of racism and the prison industry. Utilizing the Constitution’s 13th Amendment as a backdrop, the film explores the prison industry’s incarceration of African-Americans. Per The Hollywood Reporter
Ava Duvernay’s film 13th is set to open the New York Film Festival. The Selma director’s new documentary examines the horrors of mass incarceration and the prison industry in the U.S., as well as how the U.S. has produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with the majority of those imprisoned being African American. It traces a pattern of fear and division behind mass criminalization, from D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (1915) and the rebirth of the KKK to the Civil Rights Movement, the 1994 Crime Bill, the rise of ALEC and the Black Lives Matter movement.Its title refers to the Constitution’s 13th Amendment: “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….”After its world premiere at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the title will then debut on Netflix and open in a limited theatrical run Oct. 7.
DuVernay’s next feature film is expected to be an adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time.