Ava DuVernay’s The 13th will open the New York Film Festival. The documentary about incarceration examines the history of racial imbalance in the criminal justice system and looks at how our country has produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with the majority of those imprisoned being African-American. The title is a reference to the 13th Amendment to the U.S Constitution.
In an official statement, DuVernay said, “It is a true honor for me and my collaborators to premiere The 13th as the opening night selection of the New York Film Festival. 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. I thank Kent Jones and the selection committee for inviting me to share what I’ve learned.”
Lisa Nishimura, VP of Original Documentary Programming at Netflix said, “Ava gives us a remarkable and ambitious framework for understanding why the U.S. represents 5% of the world’s population, yet is home to nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners. Her work has been tireless and passion-fueled and has resulted in a sweeping view at a tenuous time. We are honored to provide a global platform for this deeply urgent work.”
This is the first time a documentary will open the New York Film Festival which runs from September 30 – October 16