Ava DuVernay’s 13th bites down on the gristly notion of the USA as ‘The Land of the Free’, chews with bitter discomfort and consequently spits it out, unable to swallow. The thudding irony of this long-held mantra is made clear in the opening moments of the Selma director’s latest project with plainly shocking statistics, delivered in an unseen address by Barack Obama: with just 5% of the world’s population, the United States has 25% of its prisoners. Far from being a land of milk, honey and liberty, DuVernay’s scathing vision of America reveals that an astonishing one in four of all inmates globally languishes behind bars.
13th played as a Special Presentation at the 2016 London Film Festival is now available to stream via Netflix. Read the full review here.