Mole: Until the credits started rolling, I felt flattened and saddened by the 13th. You know any film about mass incarceration in the U.S. is going to flatten and sadden you, but it’s still horrifying to see as the film weaves together black and white newsreels from 50 years ago right up to Facebook posts from a few months ago.
The recent events help prove DuVernay’s thesis that though the names may change, the institutions still exists: Incarceration is the new slavery and Black Lives Matter is the new civil rights movement.
It’s the kind of film that people will tell you, you must see because it’s designed as a 90 minute call to action. Watch it, but stay until the credits roll. Snapshots of black families doing family things appear on the screen. The pictures wrench at your heart because their ordinariness is what is so remarkable and touching. A moving tribute to lives worth fighting for.
Ratty: It’s hard to review this movie without stumbling over the well worn cliches for this kind of movie. To call it “powerful” just doesn’t really do it it justice. A little while ago Snoop Dogg(!) lamented the wave of movies about slavery and the civil rights movement. His complaint was that the camera wasn’t trained on what was happening in America right now. This film moves us closer towards rectifying that. It frames the history of slavery and civil rights as context for what’s happening today. It is our shameful proof. Proof that past is present, that history repeats itself and that we need to tear up the old maps and chart a new course. “Must watch”. Honest.