Oh. My. Heart! It has been a VERY long time since a True Story film like this snatched my insides and squeezed so tightly.
Till is the Real Life True Story of Mamie Till and her pursuit for justice after her son Emmett is kidnapped in the middle of the night, tortured and murdered whilst visiting cousins in Mississippi. The child was only 14 years old.
Only 5-6 minutes into the film, you immediately know that this movie is going to be about racism. And not just any kind of racism. It’s that deep rooted, hateful ugly kind that people of colour, especially black people, experienced in America in the mid-1950s.
And Mississippi at that time, was notorious for being unfair and unjust towards black people. So be prepared to feel every maddening, frustrated, and heartbroken emotion under the sun as scenes unfold depicting that unfairness and unjustice. It sickens me to my gut knowing this all truly happened a mere 60 odd years ago.
With no exaggeration, this was a hard movie to watch. Although not graphically violent, there’s enough to see and hear to know a child is being tortured in one scene. I bawled immensely, especially because I am a mother myself and I could only imagine the agony Till was feeling when she finds out her only child was brutally tortured before they murdered him.
The film also made me mad! I am mad just writing this review! I clenched my fists in rage so many times. At one point I gasped aloud “What?!!!” (I didn’t realise it lol) because I was so angry at how unfair the justice system was at the time towards people of colour.
So should you watch Till? YES. Like I said it’s not bloody or violent, but it is confronting. Danielle Deadwyler as Till was a TRIUMPH in her role! And I adored seeing veteran stars Whoopi Goldberg and Frankie Falson in their small, but significant, roles as Tills parents.
In my opinion, movies like this educate in big ways. They tell honest stories of true incidents that happened to real life human beings just a few decades ago.
I took my 15 year old to watch the Advanced Screening with me because I knew the historical educational value was worth it. My son had a gazillion questions after the movie and it was a great talk all the way home, so if you have a teen who could use a valuable true story film to waken them up a little – this would be a good one!
Till is in cinemas now.