Ava DuVernay‘s Netflix documentary “13th” released an official trailer on Monday morning, and it’s one almost certain to polarize.
The “Selma” director’s film is named for the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, “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.”
She focuses on that latter part, which speaks to the American prison system’s mass incarceration issue. To get her point-of-view across, DuVernay utilizes a mix of archival footage and testimony from activists, politicians, historians and formerly incarcerated people.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker offers the following observation: “We now have more African-Americans under criminal supervision than all the slaves back in the 1850s.”
Others focus on the monetization of the prison system, which is quite over-crowded compared to other nations. As a matter of fact, one out of four people incarcerated in the world are here in the United States, the trailer begins by telling us.
The world has 7.4 billion people. America has about 319 million. Do the math — it’s not good.
Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are featured in that aforementioned archival footage, as are Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Newt Gingrich, among others.
Netflix will release “13th” on October 7.
Watch the video above.