Netflix’s latest documentary series opens with an intriguing question: What do you think of when you think of America? Throughout history, people have spilled blood and fought for equality in the United States and even today, that battle rages on. At the center of all this is the 14th amendment. Adopted on July 1868, this essentially grants equal civil and legal rights to African Americans.
Amend: The Fight For America is an informative documentary detailing the struggle and fight men and women in the United States have had (and continue to have) in gaining equal rights for all.
The first episode starts right at the very beginning of this plight, with specific homage to Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, as they fought with the courts to try and detail exactly what citizenship means and gain equality across races.
The rest of the episodes then progress through this civil rights movement across the decades, with episode 5 turning its attention toward LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriages, before the final episode takes an intimate look at immigrants and immigration as a whole.
Amend uses a combination of archival footage and shots of the past with engaging animations, face to face interviews and narration from Will Smith who breaks everything up into interesting segments.
Of course, with any documentary like this there are undoubtedly going to be people turned away from the subject material. That would be a shame because there’s actually a lot to like with this one, especially given some of the stylistic ticks across the 6 episodes.
Of course, this documentary is specifically based in the United States (hence the title) so a lot of the material here is geared toward USA’s history and current climate rather than a global focus on equality in general. If you can go into this with an open mind though, there’s a lot to like, as Amend sheds light on the struggle and fight for equal rights which continues to this day.