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8 Movies Like Till You Must See

November 29, 2022

Directed by Chinonye Chukwu, Till is a biographical drama set in 1955. When 14-year-old Black Emmett Till travels from Chicago to Mississippi on vacation, he meets people who lynch and brutally murder him. Emmett’s mother, Mamie Till, then sets out to seek justice for her son. Chinonye Chukwu’s film authentically portrays the racism that people experienced at that time.

The story evokes different emotions in the viewers and makes them think about difficult questions that still need answers today. If you’re into movies like this, here’s a binge list for you. You can watch most of these movies comparable to Till on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

8. Harriet (2019)

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‘Harriet’ is a biographical film directed by Kasi Lemmons and follows the real life of Harriet Tubman. Set in 1849, the story follows Araminta Minty Ross who works as a slave on the Brodess farm. Soon after, she flees the farm and adopts the name Harriet Tubman. Harriet realizes she cannot leave the remaining slaves on the farm and decides to free them. This puts Harriet on the path to freeing slaves and helping the black community.

In some respects, Kasi Lemmons directing is similar to the film Till. Both are about women fighting for what they believe to be right. On the one hand, Harriet’s methods are more violent, on the other hand, Mamie’s methods are within the law. Harriet contains a little bit of action while Till is intense drama. The two films give a tiny glimpse into black life in the 1850s and 1950s and leave the viewer in awe.

7. Fruitvale Station (2013)

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Fruitvale Station is Ryan Coogler’s directorial debut and is based on a real-life black person named Oscar Grant. The story follows Oscar (Michael B. Jordan) as he goes through his day and meets different people in his life. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film shows how a normal day in Oscar’s life turns into something tragic through no fault of his own. If we compare Fruitvale Station to Till, we see an interesting difference between the two stories.

The viewer does not see Emmett Till’s murder in the film, but knows that it happened from his mother’s perspective. In contrast, Fruitvale Station shows the police officers confronting Oscar Grant and everything else follows. Despite the difference in narratives, both films are equally haunting and stick with viewers long after the end.

6. The Hate U Give (2018)

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Based on the novel of the same name by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give is a film that explores themes of police brutality, racism and injustice. Directed by George Tillman Jr., the film follows 16-year-old Starr as she seeks justice for her boyfriend, Khalil, after he was shot dead by a white police officer without cause. The Hate U Give and Till share numerous similarities in terms of their premise, narrative, and individual characters.

Starr and Mamie fight for someone close to them and become public activists in the process. The characters progress from trying to accept their pain to fighting for what is right and publicly standing up for a necessary cause. Khalil and Emmett are also similar in that their deaths are closely linked to racism. In both films, her death sparks discussion, debate, and movement, prompting black people to stand up for their rights.

5. Just Mercy (2019)

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Based on the memoir ‘Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption’ by Bryan Stevenson, ‘Just Mercy’ follows the lawyer-turned-writer fighting for wrongfully convicted death row inmate Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx). Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the biographical legal drama is about the higher conviction rate of people from the African American community in the United States.

Bryan decides to fight this by offering legal help to poor people who don’t have access to justice. Just Mercy and Till is about people who relentlessly seek justice. Both are fighting tooth and nail for what is theirs and their community’s right. The tension in both films is almost always high and keeps the audience in suspense.

4. Love (2016)

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Loving is a historical romance drama based on the real life of interracial couple Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga). The film was inspired by the documentary The Loving Story by Nancy Buirski and directed by Jeff Nichols. The film follows the arrest of a white man and his black wife for violating the law banning interracial marriage. A trial ensues that results in one of the most monumental racial judgments of any American court.

While the film is not about violence, lynching or murder, it is a true story with roots in racism. The Lovings and Mamie Till are associated with significant events in black history and the films show the importance of the Lovings and Mamie Till. The characters in both stories are also strongly influenced by love as an emotion. It is she who leads Richard and Mildred to fight state laws and leads Mamie Till to seek justice.

3. If Bleach Street Could Talk (2018)

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Based on James Baldwin’s novel of the same name, If Beale Street Could Talk is a romance drama centered around an African American couple, Clementine Rivers and Alonzo Hunt. Everything in her life seems to be going well when Alonzo is wrongly arrested and convicted of raping a woman. So Clementine, her family and Alonzo’s family try to prove the man’s innocence. Unlike Till, If Beale Street Could Talk is a slow-paced film with little suspense. However, he conveys the difficult situation of Alonzo and Clementine. While the first film evokes anger and pain in the viewer, the second film causes a gentle but lasting pain in the heart of the viewer spectators.

2.Selma (2014)

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Based on the 1965 Martin Luther King Jr.-led march from Montgomery to Selma, Selma is a historical drama directed by Ava DuVernay. Like Loving and Till, the events in Selma are of great historical importance. Directed by Ava DuVernay, Martin Luther King Jr. leads a march to demand equal voting rights.

Selma doesn’t focus on violence or brutality in particular, but shows it in several scenes. In many ways it is reminiscent of Mamie Till’s account of her son’s death. Mamie and Martin Luther King Jr.’s personalities are similar in many ways. Both have a tenacious commitment to what is right and share a similar enthusiasm for fighting the social injustice they face.

1. Malcolm X (1992)

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Directed by Spike Lee, Malcolm X is a biography based on the real life of the activist of the same name. Directed by Spike Lee, the film traces the controversial leader’s journey from childhood to membership in the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X and Till have similarities when it comes to issues of racism and social injustice.

But the second film is the portrayal of a leader’s life, while the first film is the portrayal of an event that shakes the nation. Malcolm X (Denzel Washington) and Mamie give voice to the outrageous, but their styles are very different. While Malcolm X’s fight is political, Mamie’s fight is personal. These aspects are also reflected in their appearance and in their speeches. Both films share a similar theme, but they appeal to audiences in different ways.