Ahead of its nationwide premiere, a film about Mamie Till Mobley’s fight for justice after the lynching death of her son Emmett Till will be screened Thursday in Mound Bayou.
“Till”, written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, will be shown at 7 p.m. at the North Bolivar Consolidated School District at 204 N. Edwards Ave. The movie is set to premiere nationally Friday.
“We cannot wait for audiences everywhere to see the poignant, revealing, heartbreaking yet inspiring film that is ‘Till,’” Deborah Watts, co-founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation and a Till family member, said in a statement. “For people who fear that they will be traumatized by this story, audiences should know it is first and foremost the story of a mother’s love.”
The movie recreated moments that helped galvanize the civil rights movement, such as Mamie Till Mobley getting her son’s body to Chicago from Mississippi, her deciding to have an open casket for his funeral and her giving speeches around the country about Emmett.
The film will be released nearly 70 years after Till’s death, and family members say justice has not been served.
The U.S. Department of Justice has reopened Till’s case several times, but its investigations did not result in new charges.
Despite the newly discovered evidence of the 1955 arrest warrant for Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman Till allegedly whistled at, and her unpublished memoir, a Leflore County grand jury declined to indict Donham for her role in Till’s death.
Mound Bayou, founded and developed by former slaves and their descendants, was the home of civil rights leader Dr. T.R.M. Howard, who is depicted in the Till movie.
Howard opened his home to Mamie Till Mobley, witnesses and Black reporters during the trial of the two white men accused of killing Emmett.
After the men’s acquittal, Howard continued to speak about Till’s case and other examples of racial violence in Mississippi. He left the state after receiving death threats.
Mound Bayou residents from multiple generations, friends and family of Howard, descendants who were part of the Till trial in 1955, faith leaders and local officials are invited to the movie screening.
Afterwards, Watts and movie co-writer and producer Keith Beauchamp will answer questions.
Those interested in attending the screening can register on Eventbrite.