The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary, 13TH, refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis, watch on Netflix October 7.
The San Francisco Film Society has announced the lineup of programs for the second annual Doc Stories festival, November 3 – 6 at the Vogue Theatre (3290 Sacramento Street), the Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street) and the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (3200 California Street). Doc Stories gives the Bay Area a voice in the end-of-year awards season conversation by celebrating the year’s most important long- and short-form documentaries. The lineup features brand-new films yet to be released, alongside in-depth conversations with the makers of the documentaries that have electrified the festival circuit throughout the past year. Nearly every screening will include filmmakers and/or special guests to illuminate the subjects of the films and the processes behind their creation. Doc Stories is presented with major support from Catapult Film Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, CNN VR, and New York Times Op-Docs.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 4
4:00 pm A Conversation with Ezra Edelman [Vogue]
O.J.: Made in America has been hailed by critics and viewers as a “masterwork of scholarship, journalism, and cinematic art.” Explore this epic documentary and its examination of race, celebrity, media, and the justice system in America with its Peabody and Emmy Award-winning director, Ezra Edelman. This intimate conversation will be an opportunity to learn more about Edelman’s approach to the material and the formal challenges of telling an immensely complex story.
6:30 pm New York Times Op-Docs [Vogue]
(TRT 80 min.) Filmmakers in person
Explore the latest offerings from one of the most exciting producers of short-form nonfiction work. Op-Docs is the New York Times editorial department’s award-winning section for short, opinionated documentaries, produced with wide creative latitude and a range of artistic styles, covering current affairs, contemporary life, and historical subjects. Several of this year’s offerings provide intimate and unique personal perspectives on pressing current issues, including the international refugee crisis and women’s health care rights.
8:30 pm 13TH [Vogue]
Ava DuVernay (USA, 100 min.)
Ava DuVernay’s widely researched and potent film draws a connection between the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery and the subsequent methods used by the power structure to criminalize African Americans. With an astonishing depth of interviews — from Angela Davis to Newt Gingrich — and compelling archival footage, DuVernay creates a morally compelling and powerfully emotional indictment of false mythologies of Black lawlessness in America.