The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery in 1865, but it also included a provision regarding crime. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist.” That exception has justified the use of forced labor as long as the laborer is a convict. This documentary argues that this loophole has led to mass criminalization of blacks and a sprawling American prison industry. Director Ava DuVernay supports her thesis with a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men.
Presented by Meaningful Movies in Wallingford.