Folks, sit down with your families and watch 13th, the new documentary from Ava Duvernay.

Watch it all the way through. (It’s on Netflix.)

I can’t recommend this enough.

You want to talk about “Christian movies”? This movie is a neon sign pointing to the man beaten by the side of the road saying “Does this look familiar? Remember Sunday School?” Believers are those who hear Christ’s call, who understand that parable, who see Jesus in that bruised and bloodied face, and who reach out to pick him up, carry him to strength and freedom, and pay for his recovery as a privilege.

If you wondering — no, this is not partisan politics. This is a compelling indictment of America’s whole political spectrum. The Clintons, Trump, Reagan, Bush — they are all implicated here in chains of events (pun sadly intended) that show how slavery was “abolished” but then quickly reinvented in a new form, with a new vocabulary, in a way that would make it sound like “getting tough on crime.”

The Bible promotes the imagery of weapons and battle armor in a particularly subversive way: The full armor of God is made up of “the belt of truth,” “the breastplate of righteousness,” footwear described as “the gospel of peace,” “the shield of faith,” “the helmet of salvation,” and “the sword of the Spirit (the word of God).”

This documentary has suited up.

Goliath, beware.

I admit that this is more sermon than cinema: It’s the latest example of a sort of talking-heads/archival-footage/infographics assault that has become wearyingly common — the soapbox speech as infomercial. But at the same time, there are no talking heads that need to be heard right now the way these talking heads do; no archival footage we need to see again the way we need to see this archival footage; no infographics assault more urgently relevant to this present political clusterphenomenon.

As the end credits roll, you hear a powerful refrain sung again and again: “This is America’s moment to come to Jesus.” And after you see what Duvernay has to show you, you’ll want to pray. Or march. Or something. I do. So let’s.

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