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The film builds its case piece by shattering piece, inspiring levels of shock and outrage that stun the viewer, leaving one shaken and disturbed before closing out on a visual note of hope designed to keep us on the hook as advocates for change.“13th” begins with an alarming statistic: One out of four African-American males will serve prison time at one point or another in their lives.
Director Ava Du Vernay’s takes an unflinching, well-informed and thoroughly researched look at the American system of incarceration, specifically how the prison industrial complex affects people of color.
Her analysis could not be more timely nor more infuriating.
Throughout the movie the president struggles to keep high approval ratings during primary season.
The media has tremendous control of this because they are a major source of information for voters, and they can choose what kind of light to shine on a situation.
Their primary source of income, slaves, were no longer obligated to line Southerners’ pockets with their blood, sweat and tears. “Except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted” reads the loophole in the law.
In the first iteration of a “Southern strategy,” hundreds of newly emancipated slaves were re-enlisted into free, legal servitude courtesy of minor or trumped-up charges.
Although, in this situation it was not exactly the media that attacked the president, it actually was the person running against the president, Donald Rumsfeld. ..an optimistic light on the political process, this is because it portrays the message that a process that is made of good people must be just, and must prevail.
Donald Rumsfeld denounced the president, and Sydney ... Although this view isn't altogether correct, it sure does make the audience feel good.
Profit becomes the major by-product of this cycle, with an organization called ALEC providing a scary, sinister influence on building laws that make its corporate members richer.
Several times throughout “13th” there is a shock cut to the word CRIMINAL, which stands alone against a black background and is centered on the huge movie screen. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation”, Du Vernay traces the myth of the scary Black felon with supernatural levels of strength and deviant sexual potency, a myth designed to terrify the majority into believing that only White people were truly human and deserving of proper treatment.