The documentary the 13th is a film by Ava Duvernay that reframes American history and shows the oppression that African Americans use to go through and what they are still going through, like being arrested for no reason, being racially discriminated, and having the highest percentage race of people in jail. Black people have been being treated poorly in America ever since slavery up until now.
Racism still exists and people of color experience being discriminated everyday with people in general and with police. The black lives matter movement is a movement that the African American community started that is protesting that the lives of black people are just as important as the lives of any other race in the world. The main focus of the black lives matter movement is the killing of unarmed black men and women.
What brought a lot of attention to the BLM movement was on the news there were repeated incidents of police brutality and police killing unarmed black people and there were videos that people recorded of the police killing black people with their hands up. It started to uprise after Trayvon Martin was killed and George Zimmerman wasn’t convicted for killing him and people wanted justice. People started to realize that the police weren’t treating the lives of people of color of that much importance versus white people.
Police brutality and discrimination has been going on for along time especially in the 1800s and 1900s where segregation was happening and black people didn’t have the same rights as white people like they couldn’t go to the same schools as each other, drink out of the same water fountain, or sit on the same section of the bus as them. Also the police would beat and arrest black people for sometimes looking at them the wrong way or for no reason. There were riots that happened and groups like the KKK that hung and killed black people.
Many circumstances led up to the protests and riots of the Black Lives Matter activists such as the killing of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, and Sandra Bland. During those times thousands of people protested Black Lives Matter because none of the police officers who killed these people were convicted of the crime and they all plead not guilty and that caused a lot of enrage in the black community because they felt as if police officers did not care about the lives of black people. In the article Ava Duvernay’s 13th Reframes American History she says “The final act of our picture is all about Black Lives Matter, not as some kind of dutiful, oh it’s the present moment, we should do something. Every line, every frame of this film leads you to this place. Leads you to the now, leads you to the movement. This film is a virtual tour through racism.
We’re giving you 100 years of oppression in 150 minutes. This film was 150 years in the making.”(Lantigua-Williams,J, 2016,October 06, Ava Duvernay’s 13th Reframes American History).
This is saying that she wants people to become aware and open their eyes to what is happening around them because some people might not know and this film shows all the oppression that African Americans go through. The Black Lives Matter movement influenced the lens that the documentary is told in because it showed videos of the many black people that have been killed by the police and abused by the police and what the outcome of it was like the protests and the riots in and what happened everytime a police officer pleaded not guilty when they killed an unarmed black man. The documentary was also influenced by the black lives matter movements because it balanced off of police brutality and the amount of african american men that are in jail compared to any other race of people because black men make up almost 40% of the race in jail. In this documentary they shed a light on black men in jail and how some of them are arrested for crimes that they didn’t commit. For example this film told the story of Kalief Browder who was wrongfully convicted of a crime and while he was in jail was repeatedly abused by the police. That shows how the BLM movement influenced this film because a young black man was sentenced to prison for something he didn’t do and while he served his time in jail he was being treated poorly by the police because he was a young black male and it shows the importance of young black lives in the eyes of the police. In conclusion this documentary showed a lot of things that happen in america daily such as racism, discrimination, and police brutality. It also showed how black people in America have been being treated for decades like back when segregation was still around and African Americans didn’t have any rights at all.
Overall this film had an influence from the black lives matter movement because it told he stories of the many black people who were discriminated against and killed by police and didn’t get justice and he uprise that it had on the black community like protests and riots.