Ava DuVernay Prison Documentary “The 13th” To Open New York Film Festival

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The 54th Festival is set to open with the hot button topic of mass incarceration via Ava Duvernay‘s documentary THE 13TH. The fest will serve as a stage for the world premiere of the film, which will later debut on Netflix and in limited theaters on Oct. 7.

The 13th marks DuVernay’s directing follow-up to the Academy Award-nominated Selma starring David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King. Referencing the Constitution’s 13th Amendment, the doc will take an in-depth look at the horrors of mass incarceration and the prison industry in the U.S. It will also examine how the U.S. has produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with the majority of those imprisoned being African American. From D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation to the rebirth of the KKK to the Civil Rights Movement to the current Black Lives Matter movement, the film will trace patterns of fear and division behind mass criminalization.

“It is a true honor for me and my collaborators to premiere The 13th as the opening night selection of the Festival,” said DuVernay in a statement. “This film was made as an answer to my own questions about how and why we have become the most incarcerated nation in the world, how and why we regard some of our citizens as innately criminal, and how and why good people allow this injustice to happen generation after generation.”

The Festival runs from Sept. 30 through Oct. 16.

 | Staff Writer
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