There are films that provide passive entertainment and ones that connect in a more fervent way. Till is the latter. Its effect is palpable and the feelings it elicits are sadness and anger. Sad that those abhorrent tales of American racism in the fifties still resonate today.
Based on the true story of the murder of a fourteen-year-old black boy named Emmett Louis Till. This case galvanised the civil rights movement of the time and in turn, created one of the era’s strongest proponents of change, Till’s mother Mamie Till-Bradley.
Emmett was raised by his single-parent mother in Chicago and during a visit to relatives in Mississippi fell afoul of the racist customs and was kidnapped and ultimately killed. His mother’s insistence on having an open casket to show the world the extent of his horrific injuries created nationwide attention.
Danielle Deadwyler is amazing as Mamie Till-Mobley and it’s a sign of the continuing lack of recognition of actors of colour that her performance did not garner her an Oscar nomination. Her emotional intensity is spellbinding. The rest of the cast is exemplary as well. This work fills you with outrage at the slow-moving wheels of progress that exists in most modern societies but also provides a glimmer of hope with the display of human resolve.