Contributed by Lisa Bergson.
The ILNH Civil Rights team invites you to join us at the Lambertville Acme Screening Room (S. Union Street) on Sunday, June 30, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. for the “13th”, the powerful documentary on mass incarceration directed by Ava DuVernay.
“We’re giving you 150 years of racism in 100 minutes,” DuVernay told The Atlantic. “This film was 150 years in the making.”
“13th” will be followed by commentary from ILNH member and Lambertville resident Prof. Ralph Young, author of Dissent: The History of an American Idea.
Notably, DuVernay also directed “Selma” and the upcoming four-part HBO series, “When They See Us”, about the highly sensationalized, false conviction of five African-American teenagers for the 1989 assault and rape of the Central Park jogger. Her filming took place at the same time that Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court was under scrutiny, leading DuVernay to wonder, “What kinds of boys truly get to be young and carefree, and what others are indicted on sight?”
From her earliest work as a filmmaker, DuVernay has delved deep into the issue of mass incarceration, the virtual enslavement of African-American males, under the aegis of the 13th Amendment (italics ours): “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” Of the impact her film achieves, DuVernay states, “Look at this picture. Look where we are. After you see ’13th’, silence is consent.”
- “Let the Record Show”, Mattie Kahn, Vogue, p.74, June, 2019.