Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-frontrunning documentary examines one of the most serious epidemics in modern American history: mass incarceration. Following the abolition of slavery, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution stated “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude... except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
The result is a system of modern-day slavery— while the United States represents about 4.4% of the world's population, it houses around 22% of the world's prisoners. Disproportionately, these prisoners are African American.
13th was the first ever documentary to open the New York Film Festival. BAM is hosting a special screening of DuVernay's new work on November 16th, followed by a panel discussion on race.