"13th" — A Film That Amplifies a Necessary Conversation

Explore our review of “13th,” a must-watch documentary on US systemic racism & mass incarceration that aligns with the UN SDGs and urges social justice reform.

August 17, 2023

A Documentary Review That’ll Make You Rethink Justice, Liberty, and Well... Everything

In our ongoing series of reviews that focus on documentaries touching the heart of social justice and sustainability, today we're diving into "13th," a film that interrogates the U.S. prison system within the context of the country's history of racial inequality.

We at Karma swipe left on injustice, but we're swiping right on "13th," a documentary that delves into the unsettling realities of mass incarceration and systemic racism in the United States. Directed by Ava DuVernay, a true queen of social storytelling, the film features a line-up of powerful speakers and is a gripping, incisive, and often disconcerting look at a uniquely American problem that demands our attention. Keep reading to discover why this is a must-see documentary that aligns seamlessly with Karma’s social justice focus and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


“13th” at a Glance


The Message: Confronting the Uncomfortable

The genius of "13th" is not just in its meticulously gathered statistics or archival footage, but in its storytelling. This documentary compels us to confront the harsh realities that stem from systemic discrimination and the deeply embedded flaws of the American criminal justice system. By the end, you won't just be woke; you'll be wide-freakin'-awake, armed with facts and a newfound resolve for change.

Aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

You know how we're all about those UN Sustainable Development Goals? Well, "13th" basically gives us a masterclass in SDG 10: Reduced Inequality. Ever thought about why the prison population looks the way it does? Time to connect the dots.

Although the docu is primarily focused on SDG 10, it also touches on SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions (imagine a justice system that's actually, you know, just) and SDG 4: Quality Education (“13th” schools us in the lessons some state public school system are opting to skip).

Karma’s Take: Be the Change You Want to See

So, you've seen the film, you're outraged, inspired, but what next? At Karma, we say, don’t just get mad — get active. Every time you swipe your Karma Card, you're sending a message that you stand against inequality and for a more just world. Whether it's supporting initiatives that focus on education, racial equality, or prison reform, each transaction becomes more than just a financial act — it’s a political one. You’re not just buying coffee; you're casting a vote for a world that recognizes and rectifies its flaws. You're supporting the change-makers, the disruptors, the advocates who dare to challenge the status quo.

Looking for charities to support with your Karma Card that combat systemic racial injustice or work to reform our prison system? Check out these ones:


In Conclusion: An Unavoidable Truth

"13th" isn't a film that you can watch and walk away from without feeling changed in some way. Its sharp critique of systemic racial injustice and its amplification of voices that are often marginalized make it a documentary for our times. With its focus tightly aligned with essential global objectives like the UN's SDGs, this documentary outlines a path for all of us to become more responsible and active citizens.

As part of the Karma community, you're already geared up to make a difference. So, press that play button, absorb the hard truths, and continue swiping consciously. Let’s be the generation that not only acknowledges the uncomfortable truths but also acts to change them.

Through awareness and action, we can each contribute to the seismic shifts needed in our society. 

Ready to join the movement for racial equality? Your Karma Card is a great place to start. Sign up today or choose a charity that supports SDG 10 to donate your cashback to.

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August 24, 2023
3 min read

"13th" — A Film That Amplifies a Necessary Conversation

Explore our review of “13th,” a must-watch documentary on US systemic racism & mass incarceration that aligns with the UN SDGs and urges social justice reform.
Kae Burdo
Content Strategist
Share this post

A Documentary Review That’ll Make You Rethink Justice, Liberty, and Well... Everything

In our ongoing series of reviews that focus on documentaries touching the heart of social justice and sustainability, today we're diving into "13th," a film that interrogates the U.S. prison system within the context of the country's history of racial inequality.

We at Karma swipe left on injustice, but we're swiping right on "13th," a documentary that delves into the unsettling realities of mass incarceration and systemic racism in the United States. Directed by Ava DuVernay, a true queen of social storytelling, the film features a line-up of powerful speakers and is a gripping, incisive, and often disconcerting look at a uniquely American problem that demands our attention. Keep reading to discover why this is a must-see documentary that aligns seamlessly with Karma’s social justice focus and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


“13th” at a Glance

  • Title: "13th"
  • Runtime: 1h 40m
  • Cast: Featuring Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, Van Jones, Bryan Stevenson, Cory Booker, Stephen Colbert, and many more.
  • Where you can watch it: Netflix
  • Synopsis: "13th" navigates the complex landscape of the American criminal justice system, exposing how the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, left a loophole that has been exploited to perpetuate a form of racial control through mass incarceration.


The Message: Confronting the Uncomfortable

The genius of "13th" is not just in its meticulously gathered statistics or archival footage, but in its storytelling. This documentary compels us to confront the harsh realities that stem from systemic discrimination and the deeply embedded flaws of the American criminal justice system. By the end, you won't just be woke; you'll be wide-freakin'-awake, armed with facts and a newfound resolve for change.

Aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

You know how we're all about those UN Sustainable Development Goals? Well, "13th" basically gives us a masterclass in SDG 10: Reduced Inequality. Ever thought about why the prison population looks the way it does? Time to connect the dots.

Although the docu is primarily focused on SDG 10, it also touches on SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions (imagine a justice system that's actually, you know, just) and SDG 4: Quality Education (“13th” schools us in the lessons some state public school system are opting to skip).

Karma’s Take: Be the Change You Want to See

So, you've seen the film, you're outraged, inspired, but what next? At Karma, we say, don’t just get mad — get active. Every time you swipe your Karma Card, you're sending a message that you stand against inequality and for a more just world. Whether it's supporting initiatives that focus on education, racial equality, or prison reform, each transaction becomes more than just a financial act — it’s a political one. You’re not just buying coffee; you're casting a vote for a world that recognizes and rectifies its flaws. You're supporting the change-makers, the disruptors, the advocates who dare to challenge the status quo.

Looking for charities to support with your Karma Card that combat systemic racial injustice or work to reform our prison system? Check out these ones:


In Conclusion: An Unavoidable Truth

"13th" isn't a film that you can watch and walk away from without feeling changed in some way. Its sharp critique of systemic racial injustice and its amplification of voices that are often marginalized make it a documentary for our times. With its focus tightly aligned with essential global objectives like the UN's SDGs, this documentary outlines a path for all of us to become more responsible and active citizens.

As part of the Karma community, you're already geared up to make a difference. So, press that play button, absorb the hard truths, and continue swiping consciously. Let’s be the generation that not only acknowledges the uncomfortable truths but also acts to change them.

Through awareness and action, we can each contribute to the seismic shifts needed in our society. 

Ready to join the movement for racial equality? Your Karma Card is a great place to start. Sign up today or choose a charity that supports SDG 10 to donate your cashback to.

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