Friday, May 25, 2012

Mississippi Burning

As Eric pressed play for this film, the last thing he said was, "this is going to make me mad."  Set in the deep south during the civil rights movement, it definitely can make you mad.  Three activists go missing and the FBI takes over a small town to search for them.  Willem Dafoe and Gene Hackman are the lead detectives, but couldn't be any more different.  Dafoe's character was raised in D.C. and doesn't understand the culture of where he now finds himself and Hackman lived most of his life in Mississippi and tries, most often unsuccessfully, to prevent Dafoe from making things worse.

The story's core is the three missing activists, but it really emphasizes the racism that was present in the south, even after legislation was passed to the contrary.  Eric and I are always baffled after watching films like this as we try and understand how someone could hate another person so much purely based on something so shallow as the color of skin.

It was also hard to believe this film was only made 25 years ago and less than 25 years after the movement.  When I've seen films about slavery or even the mistreatment of Native Americans, I don't like it but it seems so long ago.  But this, this just happened.  And I think that's the most maddening thing of all, how we could have come so far from where we were during slavery and yet still have so much hate and prejudice.

If you don't mind getting a little mad, this is definitely one to watch.

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