30 January 2023


One day during lunch break at work, a colleague told me she had been to Pontio to see an interesting film. And I felt a bit like I had missed out! I had clicked away the emails they send about their film programme for a while. Partly that was because I was busy, and partly because I don't have an awful lot of faith in their film programme. Most of it is Hollywood blockbusters. But now I was reminded of the fact that sometimes, they suddenly have a gem!

The weekend after I checked their programme. And I saw they were showing Till, about the aftermath of the Emmett Till lynching. Not a feelgood movie at all! But probably well worth it. So I made the quick decision to go.

The film poster

It was what I expected. The movie doesn't really show you anything that wasn't already publicly known, but because you are invited see things through the eyes of Emmett’s mother, it comes a lot closer. This was only 1955; my parents were teenagers then. Scary to see that it is that recent that Jim Crow laws were still enforced in the American South. And that juries consisted of white men alone. And that testifying against a white person would probably be the end of your life if you were Black.

I don't think I can say I enjoyed it, but I was glad I had gone! Sometimes it is good to force yourself to be reminded of the awful things that go on in the world. And the things that have gone wrong in the past. A lot has changed since 1955, but it's not as if this day and age, you can't get beaten to death for no reason as a Black person! We can't stop thinking about these things. And this film is a powerful reminder.

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