Happy last day of November MMT Fam! This year has “flown” by, and it seemed especially challenging for me these last couple of months with being caretaker for both a sick parent and pet – the latter of whom passed last week, and I am still a bit heartbroken. But, I was able to take time to watch two films over the Thanksgiving holiday that I very much wanted to see since their addition to Netflix – 13TH and ZOOTOPIA.
I cannot emphasize properly how remarkable Ava DuVernay’s 13TH is in detailing the impact of the American criminal system on African-Americans from post-slavery to modern times – based on a loophole in the 13th amendment that specifies slavery is allowed as use for punishment of a crime. I was in awe of the documentary, the images and stories displayed, and the mixture of scholars, educators, historians, activists, and politicians who expounded on policies and cases past and present.
It is a heavy documentary, but oh so necessary, and offers a precise and well supported view of the duality of convictions/mass incarceration for persons of color vs. persons of non-color – especially for those who have difficulty, or simply refuse to believe there is a difference in treatment for the African-American population.
To further drive the last point home, and how it’s shaped cultural attitudes, towards the end of film DuVernay focuses on many who were killed at the hands of law enforcement (or those who self-identified as authority, i.e. George Zimmerman’s self-inflated neighborhood watch role) – with video and/or audio clips – also adding the case of Kalief Browder, the 22 year-old who committed suicide in 2015 after being falsely charged and arrested at age 16 and spending three years without conviction at Rikers Island.
And for anyone who wishes to show the documentary in public, and is seeking clearance, Ms. DuVernay tweeted yesterday that Netflix has given its first ever, general waiver:
My second pick from this month is the Disney CGI animated hit ZOOTOPIA. A funny, and socially relevant on a pre-school, school age level, film featuring Officer Judy Hopps, who becomes the first bunny on the force and is forced to solve a mystery/conspiracy, with sly fox Nick Wilde, before entire species are forever banned from Zootopia.
Witty, socially savvy, and just plain fun, “Zootopia” is a great watch for the entire family, and is packed with positive messages of acceptance, perseverance, and community.
Okay MMT Fam, those are my two picks from November. Let me know if you watch, especially 13TH, and leave a comment or two sharing your thoughts!
Until next thought, Thomasena