1955, Mississippi. Emmett Till, a fourteen year old black boy, spends his vacation with his cousins in South America. Unaware of the scale of racial tensions, he allows himself a slight joke towards a white woman, which ends with his brutal murder. Emmett's mother, Mamie Till, starts a heroic fight for justice and turns devastating mourning into action. Based on a true story that has become a symbol of African American resistance against racism. The music for the film was written by Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski.
Till’s story — that of a 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago who, in August 1955, was kidnapped in the middle of the night and lynched while visiting his family in Mississippi — may have been omitted from my Southern schooling for racist reasons, though I suspect it had as much to do with Western culture’s “great man” bias. History, as a field of study, celebrates the achievements of heroic individuals. Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks. Those names were all taught. But Emmett Till was a kid whose murder galvanized the American civil rights movement, and it has taken a different kind of thinking — à la the “Say Their Names” campaign or Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station” — to position victims in the public’s mind.
Chinonye Chukwu is a Nigerian-American writer, producer, and director. In 2019, she became the first Black woman to receive the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival for her film Clemency, in which Alfre Woodard stars as a prison warden who begins to question the morality of capital punishment after witnessing back-to-back executions.
2009 Igbo Kwenu! (short)