Ava DuVernay keeps rewriting the rules for women and women of color as a power center in Hollywood — not old Hollywood, but a different species that has evolved out of necessity. If too many doors are closed to you, find different doors that are open. DuVernay has just done it. Mid-life career change to become a filmmaker? Check. Writer and director of original stories featuring strong and complex and interesting black women? Check. First woman of color nominated for Best Director at the Globes? Check. First woman of color to have a film nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, check, and now she’s nominated again for 13th, a film that tells the story of how we got to the shameful place of mass incarceration.
Of all of the films in the Oscar race, 13th is the only one to address Donald Trump’s America. DuVernay showed how the Clintons did harm, even if they had good intentions, but there can be no denying Trump’s appearance in the film, what he is threatening to do. I don’t know if Trump will ever figure out that she made this movie and that it just got nominated for Feature Documentary but I suspect that if he ever does, DuVernay and Oprah could be caught up in some unhinged tweet spiral about the Oscars.
At any rate, DuVernay and Winfrey will sit down for a conversation about all things 13th, Trump and mass incarceration. This will be available on Netflix on the 26th, and worldwide on the 31st.
If you haven’t yet seen 13th, we highly recommend that you do.