On this week’s episode of our podcast, we caught up with Selma director Ava DuVernay, whose new film The 13th will have its world premiere at the 54th New York Film Festival this fall. We’re also sharing a fascinating discussion from last month’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival that followed a screening of Chapter & Verse, a film about a reformed gang leader who struggles to re-enter society after eight years in prison. Subscribe to The Close-Up on iTunes so you never miss an episode. If you like what you hear, leave us a review!

The 13th is a galvanizing documentary that takes its name from the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States. The first documentary to ever open NYFF, it is an unflinching look at the horrors of mass incarceration and the sprawling American prison industry. The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Deputy Director Eugene Hernandez caught up with DuVernay in a crowded Los Angeles café over the weekend to talk about the project.

Chapter & Verse deals with issues of racism, gang violence, gentrification, and what it means to forge one’s destiny in an outwardly harsh society. Following the screening, director Jamal Joseph, an activist and influential member of the Black Panther Party, joined lead actor Daniel Beatty, and producers Cheryl Hill and Jonathan Singer to talk about the film.

Listen to the episode below, or click here to listen and subscribe on iTunes.