Till movie shows the true story of the murder of Emmit Till


Bella Boone

The Till movie is wonderful; I would recommend it one hundred percent. Especially the stunning performance by Danielle Deadwayer of Mamie Till. It’s truly an astonishing story and opens your eyes.

Bella Boone, Digital Staff

The Till movie, directed by Chinonye Chukwu just released on October 14, 2022. This is based on a true story about a single mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, chasing justice for her fourteen-year-old son Emmit Till, referred to as “Bo,” who was brutally murdered in 19955 while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. This movie explores the depths of racism in the 50s and the protective motherly instinct that Mamie experiences to get justice for her son. 

The actors in this movie are phenomenal. Mamie, played by Danielle Deadwayer, was probably some of the best acting I’ve seen all year. During the first scene, Mamie and Bo, Emmit Till, are singing in the car together, smiling ear to ear. Then, the camera slowly pans to Mamie’s face and gets closer and closer. You can slowly start to see Mamie’s anxiety creep into her eyes since Bo has to go away to Mississippi, her eyes slowly becoming glassy and in fear. That small detail of hiding your panic got to me.

 After Bo gets murdered they bring his casket from Mississippi to Chicago when they being his casket off the train, you can see a close-up of her eyes, and you can see all the memories of her and Bo go through her mind and then quickly horror and agony striking her. 

There’s one scene in this movie that got to me. During Bo’s funeral, the aunt he was visiting back in Mississippi, Keisha Till, comes to see his body, mangled and bloated from the beatings and being thrown in the river. When she sees him, Keisha lets out the most protracted, most painful mourning cry. The realism of her guilt and pure despair at seeing her nephew like that brought me to tears. 

The acting in this movie is one of my many likes. Another one is the cinematography. In some scenes, like when Mamie and her friends are playing cards, the camera spins around the characters, which is very experimental and makes the scenes more entertaining. 

When they have a memorial for Bo’s disappearance before he is presumed dead, a lady tells Mamie that they had found Bo’s body in the river and that he was killed. The director does a dolly zoom on Mamie’s face, a dolly zoom is a powerful camera technique similar to a spatial warp, shrinking or extending behind the subject. This technique perfectly captures Mamie’s emotion to find out her only son had been taken away from her just because of the color of his skin.  

When Mamie comes back to her house in Chicago from the trial of Bo’s murder in Mississippi, she walks into the house. There’s a wide shot of her walking in and you can start to feel the depth of the loneliness Mamie is experiencing without the light of her son. They do the wide shots of her walking around the house and showing how Mamie is taking everything, that she did the best she could for her son. I really enjoy the realistic outcome and that not every story has a happy ending. Even though she changed the path of the civil rights movement and showed the world what two white men Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam did to her son.

Overall this movie is wonderful; I would recommend it a hundred percent. Chinonye Chukwu did an amazing job of portraying Till’s story and how a mother will do anything for her children. I will say if you are not in the mood to see a sad movie, I would wait another day to see it, but it’s truly super educational and an eye-opener. If you have a chance to watch it, I would take it.