13TH - Oscar Nominee for Best Documentary Feature


Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 1 Sun, Feb 19, 2017 12:00 PM


Reel to Real / Community Connections…Sponsored by Stu and Ginger Polisner, Humanities New York, and the National Endowment of the Arts


Sunday, February 19 at 12noon

Free! - Click on "Buy Tickets" button above to reserve your FREE tickets. Seating is Limited.

Guest Speaker: Les Payne and Ahmad Ali

Director Ava DuVernay presents a searing look at a century of race relations in America in this far-reaching and powerful documentary.

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. From the rebirth of the KKK and the impact of DW Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation; through Nixon’s ‘war on crime’ and the introduction of the 1994 Crime Bill, DuVernay and her interview subjects trace – or in some cases, inadvertently reveal – the staggering trajectory of institutionalized racism in the criminal justice system, while dissecting the politicians and corporations that have benefitted from its escalation. (USA, 2016, 100 min., English, TV-MA, DCP | Dir. Ava DuVernay)

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by a Humanities New York Vision/Action Grant. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Les Payne, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, is also a NABJ founder and served as the organization’s president from 1981 – 1983.  Mr. Payne built an illustrious career at Newsday and is well-known for not being afraid to speak out against racism and injustices in America and around the world.

Ahmad Ali‘s background in music can be traced to his upbringing in a diverse community in Long Island. It is in New York as well that his love for radio and community activism comes to fruition in his work at WBAI 99.5 FM, and streaming at WBAI.org where he has been heard over the last decade.  You can now hear his show “Café Ali” on alternating Wednesday mornings on WUSB Stonybrook, 90.1 FM.