103 user 97 critic

13th (2016)

2:15 | Trailer
An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.


Ava DuVernay
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 32 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Melina Abdullah Melina Abdullah ... Self - Interviewee
Michelle Alexander ... Self - Interviewee
Cory Booker ... Self - Interviewee
Dolores Canales Dolores Canales ... Self - Interviewee
Gina Clayton Gina Clayton ... Self - Interviewee
Jelani Cobb ... Self - Interviewee
Malkia Cyril ... Self - Interviewee
Angela Davis ... Self - Interviewee
Craig DeRoche Craig DeRoche ... Self - Interviewee
David Dinkins David Dinkins ... Self - Interviewee
Baz Dreisinger Baz Dreisinger ... Self - Interviewee
Kevin Gannon Kevin Gannon ... Self - Interviewee
Henry Louis Gates Jr. ... Self - Interviewee
Marie Gottschalk Marie Gottschalk ... Self - Interviewee
Newt Gingrich ... Self - Interviewee


The film begins with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world who are incarcerated are incarcerated in the U.S. Although the U.S. has just 5% of the world's population. "13th" charts the explosive growth in America's prison population; in 1970, there were about 200,000 prisoners; today, the prison population is more than 2 million. The documentary touches on chattel slavery; D. W. Griffith's film "The Birth of a Nation"; Emmett Till; the civil rights movement; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Richard M. Nixon; and Ronald Reagan's declaration of the war on drugs and much more. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Did You Know?


The twenty-sixth Netflix original documentary. See more »


Barack Obama: So let's look at the statistics. The United States is home to 5% of the world's population. But 25% of the world's prisoners.
See more »


Features 12 Years a Slave (2013) See more »


Behind Enemy Lines
Written by M. One (as Lavon Alford) and Stic Man (as Clayton Gavin)
Performed by Dead Prez (as dead prez)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

Interesting but One-Sided
7 June 2020 | by lsyvesSee all my reviews

Most documentaries I have seen lately (on a variety of topics) have been one-sided, so it's fine if you know that going into it. This was well done, though, and shed a lot of light on current events, but also the events leading up to the explosive times we now find ourselves in.

***I took slight issue with the Assata Shakur and Angela Davis section. Do your research and find out why their portrayal is controversial for some (Shakur more than Davis).***

I think everyone should watch this one. Empathy and kindness towards the oppressed will only come for some if they would just educate themselves just a little bit, and then continue on to educate themselves further. We all have much work to do.

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Release Date:

7 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 13th See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

D-Cinema 48kHz 5.1

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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