Release Date: August 17th, 2005 (NYC-Film Forum) by THINKfilm.
Directed by Keith Beauchamp.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about the murder of Emmitt Till, an African-American teenager who was brutally murdered in 1955 for whistling at a white woman in Mississippi.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Beauchamp tackles a very sensitive and important part of American history that sparked the Civil Rights Movement. Emmitt Till's white murderers were set free during the 1955 trial claiming that there was very little evidence to convict them. Racism was a key factor in their verdict. Now, 50 years later, Beauchamp interviews witnesses that never spoke before. Despite that the murderers have already died, there are other people still alive today that were involved in the murder. Beauchamp does a superb job of using interviews to describe how Emmitt Till's murder actually took place. The gory details of his death are also discussed and his unrecognizable corpse is briefly shown. All of these detailed accounts provide vivid backgrounds that imply so much injustice which further begs for the case to be re-opened. What makes this documentary stand out among many other documentaries about is that it is an investigation that provides new, shocking information that is already changing history. In fact, the FBI is using this documentary as evidence and they are currently in the process of re-opening the case and bringing back justice. The significance of Beauchamp's new evidence is also reflected by many important leaders' reactions--including those of Revered Al Sharpton. With a documentary as bold and shocking as this, it is certain that it will change history forever.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: The interviews with Emmitt Till's mother are very moving and heartbreaking. It is difficult not to get at least teary-eyes as she recounts her many attempts to have an open-casket funeral to bare the brutal truth to everybody. The "not guilty" verdict during the trial is also a particularly sad moment. Beauchamp's new evidence will not bring back Emmitt Till to life, but at least it will attempt to bring those who are guilty to a fair trial. Just because the same guilty people are now in their 70's does not make them immune to justice. As the Pledge of Allegiance clearly states at the end, "…and justice for all". It is very uplifting and inspiring that Beauchamp is taking the task to finally bring justice back to a case full of injustice. Emmitt Till's mom died a few years ago, but Beachamp's courageous journey still lives on.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
THE BOTTOM LINE: One of the most bold and important films of the year! It demonstrates just how powerful and influential documentary films can be with very good investigational skills and plenty of persistence. A must-see!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "U" Menu