(Mississippi Burning Movie Review)
Who could have thought that the time will come when slavery and racism will end? For a long time, it seems to be a natural element of the American life in particular. It has been passed into several generations. Black Americans and White Americans, for a long time was engaged into a lifetime war which killed not just a number of defendants from both sides but over a thousand of people whose aim was to fight for what they believe is right. It was a long fight and finally after several years and decades, the war of colors is finally over.
Slavery and racism are two big issues that is part of the American history. Several books and movies were made in this topic which showcases what happened in the past. In the real sense, commemorating such acts is like placing several pins in your heart and letting it cause you too much pain, well, that description goes on to those who have the heart for the black people. It has been a long time and perhaps both races forgot about it already but as long as there are stories that bring back the memoirs from the memory lane, the pain will remain no matter how many long years already passed.
To understand this kind of situation better than just reading about it, we shall use the movie Mississippi Burning as our reference and the main topic for this paper. This is not a paper to criticize the movie but a paper to analyze the movie and later on talk about social change.
These paper talks about three major issues. The Mississippi Burning Movie since it is the main topic if this paper and should be studied thoroughly to be able to answer the question which will be later answered in the latter part of the paper. The Mississippi Burning original facts, the true story of the crime and the real investigation would help in criticizing the movie.
The last part of the body would talk more about the movie and the case together. Comparing it and criticizing the issues. At the same time, the last part of the body would also contain the opening of the social changes issue which should be related to the movie. Hence, this paper will not focus with the movie alone but will incorporate some important topics about the movie that will lead to social change.
Mississippi Burning the Movie
Mississippi Burning is an adaptation of a real life crime in Mississippi which caused a big roar in the state. Directed by Allan Parker, Mississippi Burning made a big debut in the screens but after it, several critics came out both praising the movie and hating it. Although the slant of the story line of the movie is not based on killings but the investigation, it is still criticized by several people due to “lynching” and distortions.
The main casts of the movie were Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe who were both FBI agents who were trying to solve the death of the two white civil right workers and the black civil rights worker. The chase for the truth and the question regarding who killed them is one hell of a fight and journey which the Agents undergo. The plot of the movie is very simple, three people got killed and the authorities needed to find out who killed them. On the other hand, the characters of the film, the two agents in particular were from different place. One was from the North which is formed by Free states while the other was a southerner.
Many people were not happy with the results of the movie which is actually a reason why it gained several critics despite of the fact that it was nominated seven times in the Academy Awards and won the Best Cinematography. The movie was also nominated as Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture and Best Sound.
People, especially the critics were pointing out the “exaggeration” in the story, primarily because there are scenes wherein the blacks were always portrayed as being beaten and that stereotyped them as people who are weak. These people who found the movie absurd did not actually question the capability of Parker to direct a good film but his way of portraying the characters. It is a corrupted movie (Emerson, 1988).
Mississippi Burning: Not the Movie
The death of three Civil Rights Workers marked another chapter of inequality and oppression in the United States of America. It was a long search on who should be blamed until finally they had a lead. It was not a simple case, primarily because it includes white people as victims and this situation makes us think why it has to happen. What is that something that should be done to end all of this?
A question that requires a very hard thinking but until when shall we think about it? Such cases were not new with these people anymore and to them it was like a very ordinary day only that it was too much and that they should do something.
The crime was associated with the KKK or the Ku Klux Klan of Mississippi who admits that they hate the black people. In the end, it was not the hatred that matters but the idea that they killed people just because they were black counts the most. It was a long case and until 2007, the case was on going despite of the fact that some of those who were involved were already sentenced (Linder, 1967).
Social Change and the Changing Society
Change is the only permanent things on Earth, such a cliché but makes a lot of sense. Not all people will understand this phrase in an instant and some of them will deny this fact because they were afraid of the truth but it was the truth which brings us closer into reality and it is one fact we cannot run away from.
How do we cope up with a changing society? How do we manage to live in a place where social change seems to be out of hand? We have two different questions but with the same theme. Society and change. It has been an unknown topic to all of us because we do not talk about it but in this case, in this paper, social change and the changing society will finally meet.
Social Change seems to be hard to achieve, well, in this case it is because we ask too much from it and the change in the society does not happen overnight but it asks for over a hundred thousand of years, well, that is an exaggeration but nonetheless, it is a long time and people do not change easily. Not all people will understand that change is inevitable. That change is actually part of our everyday lives.
Why do we look after change? It is because there is something wrong or perhaps because there is something that should be change. In the case of the American Society wherein for a long time black Americans and white Americans were two groups who questioned each other. White people hate Black people, blacks hate the white because the whites are oppressive, and because they treat them like they were nobody and that all their lives they were no better than them. It was the scenarios back them.
In a documentary entitled “A time for Justice”, the sufferings of the black Americans happened, and yes, it showed the killings of the people which we can entirely associate with the death of the three civil right workers. Why was the two white Americans included? Because they were trying to help the Americans and these people do not want any people who are not like them.
It was a long battle and social change seem to be out of reach until finally, the long wait is over and some white Americans tuned to them and helped them escape their uncomfortable situation that they have been with for the longest time. It was not a swift change but a subtle one, slowly; it marks another chapter of the lives of the people who longed for freedom and acceptance.
Racism is the main issue in the movie Mississippi Burning and the real life Mississippi case which is concerned with the death of the three civil rights workers. It has been a very controversial crime in the state involving the KKK or the Ku Klux Klan. The search for the killer or killers took a very long time until finally they were identified.
In the end we can say that we don’t actually care about the identification of the killers or the people behind the death of the three young men because no matter what they do, they are already killed and no one has the power to turn back time and make things right which is actually kind of fairy tale thinking.
Relating the movie in the current social situation will give us a view of a better relationship between the two races. The blacks and the whites seem to forget this chapter of their history already and that opening it might somehow bring back the sad memories but in this case, we have to because the society already change and in some point, it was already a different story that we ask for.
There were no oppressive white people anymore except for some and the society was able to adapt to the reality that black Americans and white American were not different from each other because we were all made by God as equal. That one ends all the conversation.
Emerson, Jim. (1988). Mississippi Burning. http://www.cinepad.com/reviews/mississippi.htm
Linder, Douglas. O. (1967). The Mississippi Burning Trial (U. S. vs. Price et al.). http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/price&bowers/Account.html
Mississippi Burning. (1988).