America is home to five percent of the world’s population and twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners (Lee). Starting with explaining that America has the highest leading numbers of incarcerated people in a land that is supposed to be free, the documentary “13TH” goes into depth about the prison system in the United States, and how it played a big role in racial inequality. The director Ava DuVernay aimed to explore the history of racial inequality in the United States, while focusing on how the nation’s prisons filled with African Americans, persuasively illuminating the public about the structures or prejudice against minorities justified by a sequence of rhetorical strategies. The documentary provides several interviews by scholars, activist, and authorities working on the issue, along with other commentators. The documentary quickly moves through one-hundred and fifty years of history to the present moment of racial violence and resistance. Throughout the documentary the director effectively uses ethos, logos, and pathos to structure a persuasive argument with data and an educational impression. The director’s intention to train people on the struggles of minorities in the United States was carried out through effective words and pictures displayed in the documentary along with the use of ethos, logos, and pathos. Regardless of which side of the spectrum anybody is in, it is distinguished that the documentary 13TH conveys an effective message.
The 13th Movie Themes
Ava Duvernay created a chronological timeline of the important events that lead us to our reality of today. The director intended this documentary to touch everyone by effectively creating multiple arguments and different film themes. One of the main film themes focused on how African Americans are portrayed as criminals. Dating back to D.W. Griffith’s 1915 Birth of a Nation, African Americans have constantly been portrayed as criminals in many forms of American media. Through this lens, the public at massive has come to unconsciously believe that black human beings are greater probability to become rapists, drug addicts, murders or thieves basically because of the color of their skin. The second film theme focuses on the mass incarceration becoming a replacement for slavery. Although the thirteenth amendment is stated, countless firms have prisoners who have been put to work except for pay as part of their sentencing. Since the abolishment of slavery, politicians have carried out policies that feed off media-generated, disproportionally putting African Americans behind bars where they can be used as free labor. Another main film theme pertains to how corporate interests shape prison population. The American Legislative Exchange Council introduced federal policies which arguably result in placing African Americans and immigrants in the back of bars in the hobby of profiteering from the success of private prisons, surveillance, and prison labor. Lastly, the dehumanization of African Americans was another major theme throughout the documentary explaining black lives do matter and how America has consciously, or unconsciously, dehumanized its black population. Besides the major themes explained throughout the documentary the use of ethos, logos, and pathos structured the argument.
The 13th Documentary Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
The director persuasively impacts the public to notice the struggles that minorities go through using the rhetorical method of ethos, persuading the targeted market with credible sources like the speeches of historic figures. Presidential speeches have been proven during the film as a believable and honest source that appeals to ethos. Influential historic humans, such as Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton, and Angela Davis, who stated “That’s why when any person asks me about violence, I simply discover it outstanding because what the capacity is, that the individual who’s asking that query has simply no thinking what black people have long gone through, what black people have experienced in this United States for the reason that the time the first black character was kidnapped from the shores of Africa” (DuVernay). The use of historic figures was used to create an experience of trust due to the fact all those people are recognizable amongst the public, and it is convenient that is recognized who is speaking on their struggles as a minority. The director contributed dependable sources that would be experts on the situation such as attorneys and their view on the issues. When ALEC was presented, the director made sure to include that it used to be a corporation that influenced representatives, to make certain that the target market knew her sources were reliable. Alongside the documentary the use of ethos helps the credibility of the documentary by using supplying information but also credible sources.
The 13th amendment was the principle focal point of the documentary and was used to be a form of logos. The reality that it is written in the charter which is used to govern every single man or woman in the united states makes it an honest source. In the United States charter, injustice is engraved, and that makes it even greater so disturbing due to the fact discrimination toward minorities is in an experienced felony which helps the director and her point. Although the United States solely “holds 6% of the world’s populace, it homes ¼ of the populace in prison” (DuVernay). While only “1 in 17 white guys is probably to go to jail, one in three black men is in all likelihood to give up in jail” (DuVernay). This furthers the argument that the director is trying to get throughout through the process of logos. The director accommodates trademarks all throughout the documentary such as imprisonment statistics, laws, and memories of those affected which assist reach the goal to teach the target audience effectively.
The documentary most effectively uses imagery and compelling facts to demonstrated the emotional issue to the audience. Images of slaves and African Americans imprisoned proven throughout the documentary influence the audience in a sentimental manner because it is challenging to see and the reality that things like that happen in the real world. The stipulations in which inmates are saved in jail for minor offenses or the pictures of lynching create an emotion of anger that appeals to the goal of the documentary, which is to teach the public on racial troubles which negatively influence humans of color and the way to get that point throughout is to instigate terrible feelings. In one point of the documentary it showed a Donald Trump rally, and it linked it to past activities of racism showing that it is nonetheless regularly occurring today and that the U.S. wants to make changes to the system.
To add all throughout this documentary, suffrage and injustices of people of coloration were proven. The director touched on many troubles that appear in this country that discriminate towards broadly speaking African Americans, and the director shows the system is set up for African Americans to fail. Ava DuVernay talked about the civil rights moves that African Americans started due to the fact of the regular injustice showed towards them in the government. The prison costs have been a huge contributor to the influence of the film, it highlighted the suffrage and injustice that African Americans due to the fact of the records that were presented. Police brutality and lynching have been an exhibit to spark thoughts and add to the film’s impactful goal. The documentary educates by showing multiple approaches African Americans are set up to fail and the oppression of minorities in the country.
Although the documentary is very effective in many ways, the opposing factor of view is no longer properly represented at all. Through the whole documentary it often focuses on their standpoint, and their beliefs. A couple of representatives from the opposite side had little understanding of the problem and were rarely knowledgeable about the subjects being mentioned and it illustrates them as poorly skilled on their perspective. The documentary did not have adequate people arguing the opposing standpoint, they solely confirmed two people that argued in opposition to what the documentary used to be attempting to prove. The lack of illustration for the opposite view declined the effect of the film because it prompted it to end up extremely biased toward their views. This did not take away the power of the documentary and its argument, the director would have improved the quality of the documentary by having equal representation for both facets of the spectrum and the film would have been revered by everyone.
The documentary “13TH” will impact the view of humans on the challenge of injustice towards minorities in the United States using rhetorical techniques such as ethos, pathos, and logos. Ava DuVernay sent a message to her audience with the use of rhetorical techniques that were compelling and influential to make her persuasive argument credible. Ava DuVernay got her message across with great amounts of facts, influencers, and emotional factors, that it touches the audience. The intention of the director was to inform the public about a concern she cared deeply about to form a documentary.