I have been meaning to watch this film since its release, and now, I am trying to catch up on a lot of the Oscar frontrunners, so I decided to watch this one. I thought that this documentary was very well-made, however, I feel like it may not have been the most effective at illustrating its point.
The film tackles the race issue of mass incarceration as a form of enslavement, and it does so very well, for the most part. There are a few slightly heavy-handed parts, but this message is executed well overall. The film utilizes a combination of interviews, archival footage, and animated graphics to illustrate its point, and it is visually interesting. In the last twenty minutes of the film, though, the film takes a turn and begins to talk about the issue of police brutality. Yes, I do understand that the two issues are interconnected, but I feel like there needed to be more depth or it shouldn't have been there at all. The documentary gets its message across perfectly well without this element, and the lack of depth in this element makes it feel a bit excessive.
Overall, "13th" is definitely a very good documentary, however, it is not my favorite documentary of the year because it tried to incorporate another issue without sufficient depth. Still, it is very impressive technically, and it does bring awareness to a relevant social issue.
Big Tuna's Rating: B
How Did I Watch It?: Netflix.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Probably not; I don't often re-watch documentaries.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.