It’s been forever! What’s wrong with us? Business, basically. I am utterly sorry, but the fun thing is that we’re gonna recap everything in one big go. It’s gonna be crazy, especially with the crop of movies we have to talk about: 13th, The Handmaiden, Get Out, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Re-Animator. I’m not going to try to tie these together, because that’s probably impossible. Instead, you’ll get capsule reviews.
13th – Ava DuVernay
This was our first documentary, and it was a doozy. DuVernay captures the terrible tragedy that is the prison industrial complex, one she, along with the scholars and politicians she interviews have connected to the way that the 13th amendment abolished slavery except through the prison system. A good portion of the movie is a well-developed timeline, going decade by decade through the 20th century and seeing how our modern prison system came to be. It’s a sobering look at the influence of racism and corporations on something that people don’t pay enough attention to, which has allowed the problem to get wildly out of hand. For me, the film’s best bits came at the beginning and the end. In the early goings, DuVernay investigates how D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation played a part in the resurgence of the KKK and ties that in with the way that prisons became the new slavery. The very end of the film features pictures of black men and women and children doing everyday things, an important part of the story and the reason why this story matters so much. It also makes the whole documentary, which is a chronicle of human suffering, less heavy without cutting the power of the film. Read More