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Netflix Fix: 13TH

Just in case you're not already mad enough or sad enough.

Netflix Fix: 13TH

Title: 13th
Year: 2016
Fix: Documentary on the History of Institutional Racism and the U.S. Criminal Justice System

Netflix Summary:

In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists, and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.

FYA Summary:

In 1864, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, but with one significant caveat: "except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted". Exploitation of this loophole would eventually give rise to modern-day mass incarceration that disproportionatey affects the African-American population.

Familiar Faces:

For anyone even sort of familiar with American history and/or current events (so: America), there will be plenty of familiar faces, both in archive footage and new content. Two particularly topical names stand out: Emmett Till, the young black boy who was brutally murdered in 1955 because of what's been recently confirmed as a falsified accusation; and the now-President of the United States, whose incendiary words are even more chilling when combined with images from the violent past.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Low

This is one of those films that you'll want everybody to watch -- but just not, like, with you, unless you're into communal rage-outs and crying sessions.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: None (ish)

Sober material calls for sober thoughts, but definitely self-medicate as necessary afterwards because UGHHHH THE SYSTEM IS SO BROKEN AND EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.

Use of Your Netflix Subscription: Required

If you're looking for a fun diversion... this is obviously not it. 13th is upsetting but essential viewing for understanding institutional racism against African-Americans that fuels the lucrative prison industry. (And if you're an Oscars completionist, it's nominated for this year's Best Documentary Feature award -- an accolade that it's totally deserving of.)

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.