The first trailer for Till, the movie based on Emmett Till’s tragic murder and his mother’s fight for justice, has arrived, and it has Black Twitter talking about “Black trauma” being “exploited” in films.
Till Is Not Just Focusing On Emmett Till’s Murder
The first trailer for the film arrived on Monday (Jul.25) on what would have been Emmett Till’s 81st birthday. The trailer for the biopic highlights what will be an emotional story focused around Emmett Till’s murder which became one of the catalysts for the Civil Rights Movement.
Danielle Deadwyler (The Harder They Fall) plays Mamie Till, a role she admitted in a Vanity Fair she “didn’t want.” She continued, “I’ve been a load-carrier for a long time. And Mamie Till Mobley is a pure example of a Black woman carrying that invisible load we always carry.
Deadwyler also admired Mamie for turning the tragic moment into fuel for her fight activism.
“What you’re experiencing is this very concentrated moment of what it means to be a mother in such a state, to become a figure in the most tragic moment,” Deadwyler told the publication. “To have stood as strong-willed as she did, and with such grace in the face of real f—ing terror— there’s no other term for it but real f—ing terror — is amazing.” Jalyn Hall plays Emmett, her only child.
The Story Of Emmett Till
In August 1955, then 14-year-old Emmett Till traveled from Chicago to Mississippi to spend the summer with his cousin. During his visit, a white woman Carolyn Bryant Donham accused the young teen of making unwanted advances toward her.
Spoiler alert she lied.
Donham would later tell her then-husband Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, her half-brother, about the alleged incident, and they kidnapped Till from his relative’s home. They beat Emmett Till to the point he was unrecognizable, shot him, and dumped his body in the Tallahatchie River, per PBS.
As expected during those times, both Byrant and Milam were acquitted by an all-white male jury after only an hour of deliberation, NBC News reported. Bryant and Milam sold their story rights to Look Magazine after their acquittal and admitted to committing the heinous crime, the Associated Press reported.
Till’s mother held a five-day open casket funeral in Till’s hometown of Chicago. Speaking to the Clarion Ledger, Deborah Watts, a cousin of Till’s and the founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, said, “She (Mamie) wanted people to understand what hate did to him.”
Is The Film Already Being Misunderstood?
The film’s Director, Chinonye Chukwu, explained Till primarily focuses on Mamie Till’s story and her work as an activist. “I knew that the way that I needed to tell this story was through the emotional journey of Mamie,” Chukwu said during a press conference for the film, per Entertainment Weekly.
“We’ve got to keep it focused on Mamie and her relationship with Emmett,” she continued.
Chukwu also pointed out that she wanted to show Till as he lived before the tragic events of his murder, adding it’s “important that we see, feel, and hear him be a boy before what would inevitably happen to him.”
Even with those details, Black Twitter still feels this is a movie that shouldn’t happen and will pass on it when it arrives in theaters.
People also express the film’s importance and why it should be seen.
This interesting debate occurs when Republican politicians are actively white-washing American history and banning books from schools that focus on things like slavery and other not-so-patriotic moments.
Television and movies are one of the main formats of teaching people about incidents like the Tulsa Race Massacre or the existence of sundown towns across the United States.
You can peep more reactions to Till’s first trailer below.
Photo: Chicago Tribune / Getty