Around this time last year, Ava DuVernay’s riveting documentary, 13th, stopped everyone in their tracks at the New York Film Festival. Once it hit Netflix, the masses agreed with critics at the annual cinematic event that DuVernay’s latest reel would ignite our response to the perils of mass incarceration and the black and brown bodies that are targeted to fill these overcrowded penitentiaries.
For the California native’s stellar work, the Creative Arts Emmy event bestowed four trophies upon her film. According to Deadline, the Selma director took home the award for Outstanding Documentary or Non-Fiction Special.
While accepting the award, the celebrated filmmaker called upon the audience to keep in memory the families that have been torn apart by the criminal justice system. “I want to thank, and think about tonight the hundreds of thousands of families who are waiting for their loved ones to come home,” she said, per Deadline. “Mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, who don’t know where their loved one is. Unsung heroes of a struggle that has not a lot to do with them, but has a lot to do with how they live each day.”
13th also looks at the billion dollar profit that’s being spewed out of the prison-industrial sector and prisoners being used as a form of cheap labor. The documentary was also nominated at the 89th Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature.
In an interview with HOT 97, DuVernay touched upon the process of creating 13th and the importance of practicing self-care in the black community.