Last week, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton engaged in the first debate of the election cycle. One of the more famous (or infamous) moments came when the two of them duked it out over how they would deal with race relations in this country. Hillary called Trump out for stating faulty statistics and facts about New York’s Stop and Frisk program, while he called her out for her infamous “Super Predator” comments. As it turns out, a full day before the debate, Netflix dropped a trailer for Ava DuVernay’s new documentary, 13th, and featured both candidates using this dialogue and perpetuating the racial divide in this country.
Filmed quietly over the past year, and featuring interviews with experts, scholars and politicians from all sides of the aisle, the film studies the demonization and criminalization of young African American men over the course of 150 years, tracing it back to a loophole in the 13th Amendment which allows the continuation of slavery if the person is an imprisoned criminal.
The film opened the New York Film Festival last Thursday, and boy did it land. I’m not talking about simple praises and critical acclaim. I’m not even talking about future Oscar winners. I mean every single review names this film as at least revolutionary and at best one of the best documentaries of all time. In fact, many critics are insisting that this film make a play for Best Picture and Best Director (it won’t happen, but that gives you an idea of how monumental this film is). 13th drops on Netflix this Friday, you can watch the trailer below, and I’ll have a review of it up and running Friday afternoon.