13th – A Netflix Original – Review

By Amanda, @swansongwriter

Netflix is great at is creating its own content and their recent addition, 13th, is no exception. The documentary details the relationship between racial prejudice and the prison system in the USA. Warning in advance – there is some pretty graphic content and some parts may disturb certain viewers. I was actually due to write an article about something else but after seeing this, dedicate a piece to this fantastic uncovering of the truth. The title of course comes from the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished slavery.

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(Image courtesy of indiewire.com)

The documentary lasts approximately 1 hour forty minutes and tells stories through history, from the 1920’s to modern day of innocent victims of police brutality and innocent people who’ve been placed in the ‘criminal justice’ system for the rest of their lives. It’s a realistic view on the history of policing gone too far and inequality. The interviews are from some of the most respected and influential people of our day who have stood up against the supposed justice system and gives a real insight into what has and is still going on in the world.

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(Image courtesy of hypebeast.com)

One of the most shocking things I learnt was that big brands in America, some of which operate all over the world including the UK, are using prisoners for labour, hence why now the prison system is now a profitable business and more ‘criminals’ are needed behind bars. There is no doubt after watching it of the sheer brutality that has been shown to the non-white communities throughout history and is still going on today as well as the gains received from the system to big household names.

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(Image courtesy of flickeringmyth.com)

It’s hard hitting and will stay with you but please, please take time to watch this. I had no idea of the extent to which racial discrimination still remains in our society. Being a British Caucasian, I know that people like me have been privileged throughout history but what I didn’t realise was that I’m still living in a world were pre-judgement based on skin colour is still an issue. Watch the program, spread the word and treat every person you meet, irrespective of gender, colour, belief etc. with total respect and as an equal. We as a world are so much better than this. Let’s stop this. NOW!

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