13th Documentary Film


Being a colored person in America has for a long time been one of the biggest catastrophes in life an individual can experience. White supremacists and a country marred with racial prejudices has been the struggles of every black man in America. The law has been amended over and over to accommodate African-Americans but institutional racism and other prejudices against the people of color have been able to mutate and find their way back into the system.

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Various people have tried to showcase it and Ava Duvernay, through her film Documentary 13th explores this theme especially on mass incarcerations.

When slavery was abolished, African-Americans got a new lease of life, this is because they were allowed to self-emancipate and live normal lives. Black people have since then made milestones, however, the skewed criminal justice system of America has always been in the limelight, being criticized for its unfair treatment of black people. This film clearly brings out how black people’s first crime is their skin color. Convict leasing is one of the ways used by correctional facilities to punish individuals. With black men being arrested anyhow without probable cause, they have been subjected to hard labor in fulfilment of this punishment. This shows how slavery has crawled right back into the American society and this time it has found a justifiable safe spot embedded in the system.


The film is a masterpiece and activism in its own capacity. The atrocities meted upon black people are far from over and there is need for the criminal justice system of America to be restructured. Politicians needs to stop perpetrating hate crimes through creating plastic crises in order to gain political mileage. This has seen people of color treated with suspicion and ended up being incarcerated, as other people make a lot of money from the various retribution programs.

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