“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer
This film articulates the madness of racism in the South of the 1950s (which continues to this day, tragically). Combining archival photos and footage with deeply felt interviews, it tells the harrowing story of what happened when a 14 year old black boy from Chicago, visiting his relatives in Mississippi, whistled at a white woman in the street.
The lynching that followed was so gruesome that a media circus surrounded the trial–and what stunned the nation was not only the crime, but the blithe unconcern the citizens of a small Mississippi town felt toward the brutal murder of a black teenager.
The interviews suspensefully unveil the story, moving from the viewpoint of Till’s mother to the perspective of his Southern cousins to actual film of Till’s uncle, who had the astonishing courage to accuse the two killers in court. Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, addressed the entire country in news footage, begging that something be done so that her son did not die in vain.