Directed by: Chinonye Chukwu
Staring: Danielle Deadwyler, Jalyn Hall & Whoopi Goldberg
On 28 August 1955 in Money, Mississippi, Emmett Louis Till (Jalyn Hall), a 14-year-old African-American from Chicago, was abducted, tortured and lynched for seemingly offending a white woman in a grocery store while visiting his relatives. His dead body, mutilated and unrecognisable, was discovered in the Tallahatchie river three days later. It is to the credit of filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu that Till has no interest in depicting and therefore sensationalising the heinous crime. Instead, Chukwu reframes the story through the prism of Emmett’s mother Mamie’s fight for justice, an exceptional performance played by Danielle Deadwyler. It’s a smart move, finding hope in a tragedy without cheapening it, while playing out the narrative on a bigger civil-rights canvas and highlights, until the end, the injustices that persist to this day.