The Village Voice helped renowned filmmaker Ava DuVernay celebrate the world premiere of her latest film, 13th, at the New York Film Festival on September 30. This marks the first time that a documentary has opened the festival, and there was no shortage of support for DuVernay as plenty of change-makers, luminaries, and film lovers turned out for the festivities, sponsored by the Village Voice.
More about 13th:
Ava DuVernay’s latest documentary feature is 13th
, a sobering look at the prison-industrial complex that will open the New York Film Festival on September 30 — the first time the NYFF has ever selected a work of nonfiction as its opening film. (Netflix and limited theatrical releases will follow on October 7.) If its title sounds like that of a horror film, that’s appropriate: 13th
sheds light on a real terror, visited upon real human beings. The ordinal refers to the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which officially abolished slavery. Yet it also retained an unfortunate loophole, doing away with involuntary servitude “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” The clause has made it possible to arrest American citizens (primarily black American citizens) on flimsy charges, fine them at rates they can’t pay, jail them, abuse them, and steal their labor. DuVernay’s film tracks these practices from their origins to the present day. — James Hannaham
Read the Village Voice review of 13th:
Ava DuVernay’s ’13th’ Exposes, in Fury and Fact, Why America Loves to Jail Black Men