The director of 'Selma' explains why it was 'vital' to put Donald Trump in her Netflix documentary

Ava DuVernay Jason Kempin Getty finalJason Kempin/GettyAva DuVernay.

“Selma” director Ava DuVernay screened her Netflix documentary “13th” on Friday at the New York Film Festival ahead of its debut on the streaming giant October 7th.

The movie delves into the prison-industrial complex, in which the number of incarcerated people in America has drastically risen over the decades at an alarming rate (with most being minorities). But “13th” — which refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution — also examines a host of current situations facing minorities, particularly African-Americans, whether it be the Black Lives Matter movement or Donald Trump.

In one section of the movie, DuVernay juxtaposes archival footage of a black man during the civil rights movements being harassed by white people with footage of black people being harassed at Trump rallies this year.

While taking questions from the audience, DuVernay was asked if Trump being in the movie will still be significant for people who see “13th” years from now.

“I think it’s vital to have him in there, because he’s taken this country to a place that is going to be long-studied and considered for a long time,” she said. “It’s going to have repercussions past the moment, whether he’s the president or not — gosh, I can’t believe I’m saying those words! So we need to remember this moment. It gives us context to this moment that we’re in, looking through a lens of race and culture.”

“It was a question that we had, ‘Take him out? Leave him in?'” DuVernay continued. “‘No, does he deserve a place in this thing?’ But you have to show him because it is too important and it can’t be forgotten.”  

Here’s the trailer for “13th”:

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