How to watch Ava DuVernay’s Netflix documentary 13th for free

The blistering film examines racism in the US and the disproportionate number of African-Americans behind bars

13th - Netflix

Ava DuVernay’s documentary 13th, about racial inequality and the incarceration of African-Americans, is now free for non-subscribers to watch on Netflix.

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The move follows the killing of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests across the world, with many white allies of the movement expressing their desire to better educate themselves about systemic racism.

How can I watch 13th for free?

You can watch 13th for free here on YouTube and on Netflix. It is unclear if the film will remain free indefinitely or if this is just a temporary move.

You can also watch DuVernay’s Martin Luther King film Selma for free on YouTube, Apple, and Amazon Prime.

What is 13th about?

In the documentary, DuVernay (who directed Selma) attempts to debunk the mythology of inherent black criminality and suggests that the disproportionate number of African-Americans behind bars today is another, modern-day version of slavery.

The film’s title is taken from the American Constitution’s 13th amendment, 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.”

13th blends archival footage with interviews with formerly incarcerated men and women; politicians; activists; and historians.

In the last three weeks, the documentary has had an incredible 4000 per cent increase in views according to Netflix – with the streaming giant tweeting that “millions of members” have viewed the 2016 film.

Director DuVernay replied to the tweet, commenting, “Beautiful”, with an emoji of the Black Lives Matter fist symbol.

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13th is available to stream free on Netflix or YouTube. You can also check out the best Netflix series and best Netflix movies to keep you entertained or visit to our TV guide for more to watch.