Ava DuVernay is rapidly becoming one of the greatest working directors. While I have yet to see her critically acclaimed breakout film, Middle of Nowhere, 2014’s Selma was the best of the year. She has a clear and distinct vision that comes through with each project, and in a piece of surprising news, she’s already prepared to do so again.
It was announced yesterday that the New York Film Festival, one of the most prestigious in the world, is prepared to buck tradition and make DuVernay’s newest documentary The 13th the first nonfiction film to serve as the Opener. The 13th is something of a passion project for DuVernay, and will explore the subject of racial inequality in the United States. Here’s the official synopsis:
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, DuVernay traces a pattern of fear and division that has consistently driven mass criminalization. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimonies from leading voices, including Michelle Alexander, Bryan Stevenson, Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Angela Davis, Senator Cory Booker, Grover Norquist, Khalil Muhammad, Craig DeRoche, Shaka Senghor, Malkia Cyril, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.
The film will open the festival on September 30th, and the festival will run through October 16th. The 13th will premiere on Netflix on October 7th, and receive a limited release the same day.