Given the series of events that have transpired within the past 12 months, one could easily deem 2020 as one of the most adversarial as well as unprecedented times in American history. Although there are many contributing factors that led to such a storm, one of the most troubling aside from a global pandemic is the systematic oppression that lies within the fabric of the United States. Racial Injustice is an issue that has laid yet ubiquitous for decades in America’s media portrayals, the workforce, & especially our criminal justice system. The main reason for the persistence of these inequalities could be the fact that only few dig deep enough in an effort to discover the cause for why people of color still face certain disparities. The 13th shines light on this shortfall.
The 13th is an educational documentary focusing on America’s racial undertones and how large of an impact they play in our nation’s criminal justice system. The film gathers interview pieces and archives from some of the nation’s greatest politicians in an effort to collectively tell the story of why 25% of the world’s prisoners are locked up in the U.S. What most overlook about the 13th amendment is that it states that if you become convicted of a crime, you automatically lose your basic liberties as a U.S citizen, essentially reverting you back to an indentured servant or slave. Many people may feel that the reason for the clause underneath this amendment is out of sheer hate. However ,even though that may be, the greater aim is for economic purpose. Correctional Institutions are a multi-billion dollar business, from the healthcare & nutrition companies that are attached to them to even the bigtime corporations that partner with lobbyists in order to pass bills that benefit their sales directly as a company. The entire infrastructure is aimed to make money off the backs of minorities, similar to the reasons for why slavery persisted for so long in the South. Ava Du Vernay as well as Spencer Averick who are responsible for the award-winning film Selma bring insights from minds like Angela Davis, Cory Booker & Jelani Cobb in order to tell the story of just how we got here.
The film is very well composed as it tells the story of inequality from the year 1800 all the way up until the present day 21st Century. Visually, the context offered provides viewers a better idea of exactly how intense of a problem racial inequality has been for some in the United States of America.
Overall Rating: 10 out 10 .