Among this year’s many new fall movie releases is a depiction of a tragic and brutal event in American history that became a key event within the American civil rights movement. Chinonye Chukwu’s Till sheds light on the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy who was abducted, tortured and lynched while visiting Mississippi. The young man has never been forgotten, especially since his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley ultimately dedicated her life to finding justice for her son. The movie was greatly championed by Whoopi Goldberg, who not only stars in the film as Emmett’s grandmother but also served as a producer. And in that latter role, she helped encourage Chukwu.
Till is Chinonye Chukwu’s second directorial effort following her critically acclaimed debut, 2019’s Clemency, which was inspired by a real death row case. Her movie about Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley was the result of years of money-raising via a kickstarter. While Whoopi Goldberg initially signed on to make Till her directorial debut, the historical drama was ultimately placed in Chukwu's hands. She spoke to CinemaBlend about her collaboration with Goldberg with these words:
The movie tells the story from the perspective of Mamie Till-Mobley, as she wrestles with the nightmare of losing her son to senseless violence while visiting family outside of their home in Chicago. Till gives an in-depth account of the events surrounding Emmett Till’s death and does so by deftly focusing on the human element of it all and not leaning too heavily on the more traumatic aspects in any harmful ways. During our interview with the director, Chinonye Chukwu also spoke about the vision her vision for the movie, which had Whoopi Goldberg's support:
Upon its premiere at the New York Film Festival earlier this month, Till received rave reviews from critics and general audiences alike. Whoopi Goldberg seems particularly pleased with how the movie turned out. (Though unfortunately, she did speak out after a critic claimed she wore a fat suit for the movie when she was actually ill amid filming and was on steroids.) While Goldberg plays a small part in the movie, she was definitely instrumental in getting the movie made. And thanks to her efforts, there's now an opportunity to bring more attention to this tragic incident.
While it’s a bit too early to make 2023 Oscar predictions, it’s likely that Danielle Deadwyler’s emotional and powerful performance as Mamie Till-Mobley will insert her into the conversations for Best Actress, and Chinonye Chukwu’s careful direction should not go unnoticed either.
Whoopi balances a lot of projects these days, between being a regular host of The View, working to get Sister Act 3 together and even launching her own prosecco line. However, when it comes to Till, Goldberg brought her talents to a major motion picture by effectively empowering its director to craft a vision that will allow the memory of Emmett Till and his mother to remain within the public consciousness and help to guide us as we contend with the systematic racism that's sadly still present within our society today.
Be sure to check out Till, which is playing in theaters now.
YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.