It’s said that history allows us to learn from our mistakes, and yet we still find ourselves in a position of continuing to make them.

This film is based on a true story, a story that due to its violent nature, should have been enough to act as a further wake up call to racism, but is as the case for so many, it’s easier to forget than to learn.

boom reviews Till
This is nice, but I really wanted an iPhone.

August 1955, and living in Chicago, Illinois, is Mamie Till (Danielle Deadwyler), and her 14-year-old son Emmet (Jalyn Hall), nicknamed Bo.

They have some family up from the south, who are leaving soon, and Bo with them. He hasn’t been down to where his family comes from in some years, and is looking forward to it. Mamie less so.

She is more than aware of how those with black skin get treated in that part of the world, and doesn’t want any part of it for her son. She drills him on how to behave in front of white folk, and he promises her knows what to do. And besides, her brother promises that he’ll keep an eye out on the boy.

But whilst down there, Bo doesn’t really fully appreciate the situation, until it’s too late, when he’s involved in what he believes to be some harmless fun that leads to tragedy.

Although riddled with grief, Mamie isn’t prepared to let justice be blind to what has happened to her son, and is ready to do what it takes to make sure her country knows.

boom reviews Till
I don't believe it, they've taken the pineapple fried rice off of the menu.

Director Chinonye Chukwu’s film is one of those that should never really be made. It’s one that highlights the tangible evil in mankind, which sadly still exists today. It follows the brutal murder of a young man, who despite doing absolutely nothing wrong, was perceived by locals to have stepped over the racial line.

It’s also about the love a mother has for her son, and the lengths she is prepared to go to for what happened to him not to be forgotten. And in some way, despite the huge media storm it provoked at the time, it’s yet another slice of history that has been conveniently forgotten.

Thankfully Chukwu’s impressive film will help cement the facts cinematically for all time.

Primarily the film’s story is king; it is a remarkable retelling of an event that takes place in the Deep South that, for many years seemingly had its own laws when it came to race relations. This event is wholly abhorrent, and Chukwu deals with it skilfully. She focuses on the outcome rather than the event itself, with the state the young man’s body discovered in leading to his mother making it known to one and all what they did to her son.

It’s certainly effective, but it’s a little curious that Chukwu decides to not show the incident itself, and show the faces of the individuals committing the heinous act. In a way it feels a little as if they’re getting away with it by not showing them murdering Bo, as witnessing them doing it would surely just reinforce their pure racist and evil intent.

Her secondary theme is that of Mamie, and her drive to see some sort of justice. Deadwyler is stunning, giving a career-defining performance, one certainly worthy of an Oscar nod, as she delivers with heart-wrenching aplomb a mother’s grief.

A raw, powerful and moving film then, that can be a little difficult to watch at times, but then all the films with a leaning to educate often are.

we give this four out of five

4 booms