An in depth look into America’s history of racial divisions and how it has related to the judicial system over time, stretching back from the days of slavery right up to the modern day.
For me, a British person not that well acquainted with the details of the prison system in America, I found 13th a very eye-opening and powerful movie. Although at the same time it can be a fairly harrowing watch. Much like the recent and excellent Going Clear this is not a film to watch when not in the mood to both learn and be moved. But with the right mind-set I definitely recommend seeking it out.
To a certain extent 13th relies perhaps too much on talking head content, though for me it mixed it up enough with rap music exerts and very well done pieces of animation to not get stodged down as some talking head docs can get.
For me though the most powerful part of the movie is something you may have seen on Facebook and that’s the use of footage from recent Donald Trump Rallies and old civil rights footage. This simple juxtaposition that underlies the simply terrifying potential reality of a Trump presidency for me is one of the most powerful passages of film I have seen this year.