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Ava DuVernay's 13th Is the Most Important Thing You'll Watch This Election Cycle

In telling the highly complex story of how a loophole in the 13th Amendment is weaponized to keep black Americans enslaved, the quiet, riveting power in 13th lies with director Ava DuVernay’s impulses towards simplicity and concision. Through archival footage and interviews with academics, activists and other experts, DuVernay sticks to focus: since 1864, the Constitution has guaranteed Americans freedom from slavery or indentured servitude, “except as punishment for a crime”; immediately after the 13th Amendment was passed by Congress, authorities began arresting black Americans for petty “crimes” like loitering, putting many former slaves right back into the “custody” of the state.
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