On the heels of its Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature, Netflix will release a special interview between Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay this month discussing the director’s documentary, 13th.
“A blistering indictment of US race relations,” is how we described the powerful film in our review, calling it both “urgent” and “timely”.
As Oprah puts it: “One of the things 13th does… is it allows people to answer that question for themselves. Why should I care about those people who are incarcerated?”
Chronicling the history of racial inequality in the United States, 13th examines how the US has produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with the majority of those imprisoned being African-American. The title of DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing film refers to the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution: 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.
With a mixture of archive footage and testimony from the world’s leading activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay’s film is vital, important filmmaking. After its release last year, the film went on to be nominated for Best Documentary at both the Oscars and BAFTAs. While the awards race is normally dominated by For Your Consideration adverts in the trade press and screeners sent out to voters, in an attempt to drive support for a particular film, Netflix is making the most of its global online reach by releasing the Oprah interview directly into the living rooms of Academy and BAFTA members.
Netflix’s decision to release the interview worldwide also means that members of the public have the chance to engage with the film in more depth.
“The truths revealed within 13th are stunning, and a brilliant primer for a much needed global conversation,” says Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of Original Documentaries. “The 13th interview special was born from an organic post-screening discussion between two of the most influential and insightful women in media, Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, who invite us to share in their personal feelings surrounding one of the most important issues of our time.”
The 30-minute interview sees Oprah dives into DuVernay’s directorial process, her passion to illuminate the issues around mass criminalization of African Americans, as well as how she aggregated dozens of expert interviews from both sides of the aisle. With the film’s launch during a pivotal political era in the US, they also speak to reaction from viewers around the globe, the current state of race relations in America, and DuVernay’s advice for the Trump administration.
You can stream it on Netflix from Tuesday 31st January. Here’s a clip:
13th: A Conversation with Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay is now available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.
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