Ava Duvernay's study of America's prison system and its roots in the 13th amendment which created the policy needed to continue forced work and later forced incarceration is a thoughtful and powerful documentary well deserving of its accolades. The notion that full freedom has ever been granted is ludicrous when one simply studies the statistics and the politics which change the wording with the same end result.
A bit diffuse, but only because it's constructed with the breathless urgency the topic deserves. In an era when so many polemical docs (even ones I agree with) have a dollop of bullshit, Ava DuVernay's advocacy is lucid and dodges picking Dems or Repubs. It may not break much new ground, but it gathers info for a valuable primer on how BLM didn't come from nowhere. Which too many Americans still don't realize.
Best documentary of 2016. A compelling treatise of endemic racial profiling in the US: the world's most overcrowded prison system. From the manipulation of the 13th Amendment in order to continue to subjugate the African-American population more than a century after the slave trade, to the methods of Nixon and Reagan to find indirect ways to prejudice US racial minorities; a powerful, profound must see for all.
Nothing you probably haven't been told before in your past U.S. history and civics courses, but a distilled look at such - especially in an immensely investing, cleanly narrated way - doesn't hurt at all. Directress Ava DuVernay presents us with a plethora of information as to how and why blacks have been ostracized in American culture, and while she doesn't offer a solution, she is sure not to encourage complacency.
Powerful, painful, enlightening, urgent. Ava DuVernay cogently illustrates the innumerable flaws of the United States criminal justice system showing how white how Americans killed, criminalized, imprisoned, and persecuted millions of Blacks. She also reminds the viewers that mass incarceration is both a byproduct and a continuation of slavery. 13th is one of the most compelling documentaries of the year.