Tuesday, July 25, 2017

1035. 13th

Directed by Ava DuVernay

Once again, I apologize for the delay in posting.  I have had quite a few medical issues lately that have robbed me of the use of my arm (not the good one, but still), so I have been out of commission.  It's also partly because I kept having to take breaks from watching this documentary so I didn't have a rage stroke.

The film takes its name from the 13th Amendment, which freed the slaves and forbade slavery, unless as punishment for a crime.  The movie explores the history of racial inequality and mass incarceration in the United States.  I watched this film alone, but that didn't stop me from punctuating every scene with my outbursts (e.g. "That's so true!," "Oh my god, that can't be real," "what the fuck??" etc).

Plenty of moments in this movie were shocking, but I think for me the most wtf statistic was that while the US has only five percent of the world population, it holds 25% of the world's prisoners.  This just blew my mind.

I probably shouldn't make this post about me, but that's never really stopped me before.  I have been ashamed lately of being an American (hopefully, the reasons are obvious).  This just increased that feeling tenfold (although I fully recognize that it is awesome I can say this and not get arrested).  I have been so sick of white male privilege lately as well.  When I go on dates (hey, it happens, despite my chronic use of parentheses), men look at me like I'm crazy because I won't leave my drink alone with them or because I text my sister periodically to let her know that I'm okay.  I see the same lack of empathy towards black people.  White people that I know and like act as though black people get shot more by the police because...caucasians aren't as rude to the police or something.  It is infuriating.

So this post has kind of gone off the rails.  Back to the movie.  Everyone should totally watch this.  Now I am going to go have a talk with my dad about Ronald Reagan...

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

First documentary to ever open the New York film festival.


  1. I hope you are well now, Amanda!

    I saw this movie earlier this year as part of my ritualistic and obsesive Oscar-nominated binge-watching. I watched just after O.J.: Made in America documentary series. Yes, it does not shed a good light of the USA - especially now. But then I watched Fire at Sea about immigration in the Mediterranean Sea and told to myself: "Yeah, we don't have racial tensions because we let them drown in the sea or starve at the border". Europe has no moral ground to judge, I am afraid.

    1. Thanks Alex! Well maybe the Scandinavian countries could judge us a bit.

  2. I'm trying to catch up on the latest additions as well... I had a good start as I'd seen most already, and I'm chasing down the remaining few ASAP, but this doesn't seen to exist on ant format. Was it only released in the US or something?

    I did catch the OJ series - that was on TV recently, and I was very impressed. I didn't expect to .. a documentary about an rich, abusive sports celeb? Three (or is it 4?) major 'no' ticks for me, but I knew I was not as informed bout the whole OJ thing as I perhaps should be. I rather avoided the whole thing as it unfolded. He was, at the time, to me, just yet other 'selb with too much money and sense of self entitlement, but as time passed, and I came to learn just how important he was to different sectors in the USA, and I really should have paid more attention.
    I'm so glad I did - I learnt so much.

    Looking forward to you doing 'I Daniel Blake'...

  3. Ray- it's on UK Netflix I think maybe they released it or something or had something to do with it anyway.

    Can't comment on the film as I haven't got round to watching it yet but I know I should! I have no excuse I have Netflix...

    I'm sorry about your medical problems Amanda, I hope you are feeling a bit better now!

  4. ashley .. Ah, many thanks .. that explains .. so I may have to sign up to Netflix to see it eh? That needs thinking about/
    Love film has just told me they are stopping, but someone sent me a link to 'Cinema Paradiso'.. a very similar DVD by post service. I've just signed up. A tiny bit more expensive than 'Love Film', but they seem to have an impressive collection of World Cinema that LF didn't.

  5. You can sign up for a months free trial and sample the goods and you can cancel it really easily so there's that. The film choice is not that great. I mean there's plenty to choose from but it's quantity over quality although there is plenty of decent stuff.

    I know right how crap is this? RIP LOVEFiLM:( I have about 450 left on my rental list haha! I am a bit excited by the look of Cinema Paradiso so my plan is get through as much as physically possible with LOVEFiLM and then in October when it ends I will switch.

    1. (I should've said I was referring to Netflix in the first paragraph)

    2. (I knew what you meant)
      Quite, I have been with LF from almost the start, never had any problems (that were not immediately sorted). Their listing was pretty good. I was so concerned, but phew .. so may thanks to the friend (who, without prompting) told me about CP. I will be spoiling myself by running two subscriptions concurrently... The first CP arrived today ...

    3. Hi Ashley ... Well, I at last took the (to me) nerve wracking process of signing up to Netflix (I'm rather technophobic) and watched this last night.
      I'm not sure if I will even keep the full month free trial.. I spent a long time searching for other missing treasures and just got referred to things nothing like what I asked for.
      I hear rumours that US Netflix is better, but from what I've seen so far, Netflix UK seems utter rubbish.

    4. Hi Ray,

      I know what you mean but I don't think it's rubbish. It is no Mubi and is not designed for the more serious film person but I just had a look on my watchlist of things I've added that look interesting and I've got over 100 titles on there. Although I'm sure we have different tastes, and I do have some TV programmes on my watchlist, I think there is some good content despite all the crap. I think once you start adding decent titles to your watchlist they start recommending other good things to you.

  6. I was with them for a long time too- I knew they would close sooner or later but I hoped they had another couple of years left! :( I hope cp is good but I can't see why it wouldn't be they look like they are pretty dedicated to movie fans

    Yeah I think I'm already spoiling myself as I also have subscription to Mubi! (Which I can't recommend highly enough) Still it was not bad priced I think I paid £50 for a year of MUBI and they have some great stuff

  7. Good morning Amanda... See my reply to ashley.. I've at last managed to catch up with this..
    Which puts me back as 100% of the current full 1001

  8. Anyway, to the actual film.
    Rather shocking. Sorry, typical Brit reserved understatement..
    If we have to pick one shocker .. Well, the 25% blew me away .. (OK, if I'd been asked , I would have guessed at China for that percentage, but that reveals our preconceptions).
    No, it's the sheer vested interest in keeping flow of criminalised people coming through the system for profit. I (almost) saw the point the CEO type was making when he said (paraphrasing), as long as we keep the bad guys of the street, you shouldn't mind making a dollar'.... But it's NOT a dollar, it's millions, and now you have a motive to keep building prison populations. That's the real issue. If you can criminalise people, and thus make your 'dollar' because of that .. heck.. that is super sick.

  9. Congrats on the 100%!! It is super, super sick.

  10. It was really shocking to watch this documentary while people are out in the streets because of BLT. Amanda, from what I’ve read in your reviews you really are the most wholehearted American I’ve ever known, who speaks up against any matter endangering human rights. I’m proud of you, keep going like this.