The United States hold 25% of the world’s prison inmates despite having only 5% of the world’s population. This startling statistic is explored by filmmaker DuVernay in an urgent documentary that links mass incarceration with centuries-old racial injustice. Writers, politicians and activists delve into the history of race and criminalization, and the film reaches some disturbing conclusions about the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Following up on her award-winning “Selma”, director DuVernay stays focused on issues of racial injustice with this trenchant exposé of our prison system. The doc links the horrors of the past to the current “Black Lives Matter” movement, showing that too little has changed despite our more “enlightened” attitudes. Entrenched racism combines with the growing trend of privatizing prisons to create an ever-worsening imbalance. This important, Oscar-nominated work sheds light on a pressing social issue that won’t be resolved without dramatic reform.