In Ava DuVernay's prison documentary, 13th, one segment juxtaposes racial slurs and attacks from a Donald Trump rally with archival footage of a well-dressed black man being pushed around by a crowd of white men. Trump's words about how a black person would be treated "in the good old days" play over the scene, and it's the hardest part for DuVernay to watch.
"In the good old days, this doesn't happen because they used to treat them very, very rough. And when they protested once, they would not do it again so easily," says Trump via voiceover. "I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks."
Why include it in the Netflix film? "It's vital to have him in there because he's taken this country to a place that is gonna be studied and considered for a long time," she told reporters after a New York Film Festival press screening. "It's gonna 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."
The Selma director admitted there was internal debate in doing so. "'Take him out? Leave him in? No, he doesn't deserve a place in this thing, and such.' But you gotta show that stuff because it's too important and it can't be forgotten."
Watch the clip below.
"In the good ol' days..." #13TH pic.twitter.com/2IzF87ODP6
- 13TH (@13THFilm) October 12, 2016