The tragic story of Emmett Till is being brought to life on the big screen.
On Monday, MGM debuted the first trailer for the upcoming true-life drama “Till”, about the brutal lynching of the 14-year-old Black boy in Mississippi in 1955, and his mother Mamie Till Mobley’s tireless fight for justice.
“When I was approached to write and direct a story about Emmett Till, I found myself drawn to a singular figure at the centre of his orbit,” director Chinonye Chukwu said in a statement about the film. “I saw an opportunity to subvert expectations and approach the narrative through another lens – from the maternal point of view of Mamie Till Mobley. Had it not been for Mamie, her son’s memory would have evaporated into thin air. She was the catalyst for a modern-day civil rights movement that has laid a formidable framework for future activists and Freedom Fighters. I felt compelled to champion Mamie’s legacy and centre her in the spotlight where she rightfully belongs.”
Chukwu said, “The crux of this story is not about the traumatic, physical violence inflicted upon Emmett – which is why I refused to depict such brutality in the film – but it is about Mamie’s remarkable journey in the aftermath. She is grounded by the love for her child, for at its core, ‘Till’ is a love story. Amidst the inherent pain and heartbreak, it was critical for me to ground their affection throughout the film. The cinematic language and tone of ‘Till’ was deeply rooted in the balance between loss in the absence of love; the inconsolable grief in the absence of joy; and the embrace of Black life alongside the heart wrenching loss of a child.”
Finally, she added, “I hope viewers will empathize with the humanities onscreen and see our present cultural and political realities within this film. And I hope that Mamie’s story helps us all to realize the power within ourselves to continue to fight for the change we want to see in the world, just as she did.”
Danielle Deadwyler and Jalyn Hall play Mamie Till Mobley and Emmett Till in the film, alongside co-stars Frankie Faison, Haley Bennett, and Whoopi Goldberg.
“Till” opens Oct 14 in select theatres, and opens wide on Oct. 28.