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Human Rights Commission to show documentary; Movie ‘13’ to be played as part of Martin Luther King Day event

The Austin Human Rights Commission announced on Thursday free showings of “13th,” an Oscar-nominated documentary on Monday, Jan. 15, for its 2018 Martin Luther King Day event.

Directed by Ava DuVernay (“Selma”), “13th” takes its title from the 13th Amendment, which states, “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 documentary draws a connection between the articulation of the amendment and our country’s current prison system.

“Having a discussion about this highly relevant topic is an important way to honor Dr. King’s work and the continued fight for civil rights and social justice in America,” said AHRC Vice Chair Jessica Swanson in a news release.

The movie is packed with archival footage and testimonies from prominent voices, including Van Jones, Newt Gingrich, Angela Davis, Sen. Cory Booker, Grover Norquist, as well as voices of lesser-known activists, historians and formerly incarcerated men and women.

The result is a provocative framework for understanding why the U.S. represents only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet is home to nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

The screening will also include a discussion about the film.

“13th” will be shown at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre. Doors will open 30 minutes before the show. Admission is free. Free hot chocolate and coffee will be available, as will free popcorn to the first 25 people at each showing.