13th Film Analysis Essay

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The film 13th directed by Ava DuVernay targets an intended audience of the Media and the three branches of the United States government with an emphasis that mass incarceration is an extension of slavery. It is intended to inform viewers about the criminalization of African Americans and the United States prison boom.

13th uses rhetorical devices in its claim to persuade the viewers by using exemplum in the opening seconds of the film. President Barack Obama presents statistics, saying “the United States is home to 5% of the world’s population but is home to 25% of the world’s prisoners.” Also the film uses a hyperbole in talking about the movie Birth of a Nation produced in 1915 which portrays a black man as a violent savage who will kill white women. There is a scene in the movie that shows a white women jumping off of a cliff and plummeting to her death than to be raped by a black man. This is an exaggeration because black people as a whole were portrayed by white people as outcasts, low class citizens, and criminals and there were many white masters raping their black female slaves. In addition to that the 13th also
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DuVernay includes interviews of professors from American Universities that teach African American studies or just history as a whole, she also brings in politicians, and political and civil rights activists to support her purpose of analyzing criminalization of African Americans and United States prison boom. Another major element to the effectiveness of her documentary is that the documentary won many awards and it is available to watch on Netflix. Netflix is a movie and television streaming platform that many people worldwide use so a good deal of the United States and other people across the world have seen this film due to the popularity of Netflix and

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