The film begins with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world who are incarcerated are incarcerated in the U.S. Although the U.S. has just 5% of the world's population. "13th" charts the explosive growth in America's prison population; in 1970, there were about 200,000 prisoners; today, the prison population is more than 2 million. The documentary touches on chattel slavery; D. W. Griffith's film "The Birth of a Nation"; Emmett Till; the civil rights movement; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Richard M. Nixon; and Ronald Reagan's declaration of the war on drugs and much more.
Ulf Kjell Gür
Did You Know?
The filming locations and production design of the interviews, with brick walls and industrial equipment, represent labor that, according to DuVernay, "has been stolen from black people in this country for centuries." See more
The Bureau of Justice reported that one in three young black males is expected to go to jail or prison during his lifetime, which is an unbelievably shocking statistic.
Featured in The Oscars
Written by Nat Adderley
and Oscar Brown Jr.
(as Oscar Brown, Jr.)
Performed by Nina Simone
Courtesy of Colpix Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing See more