Sixty years ago, 14-year-old Emmett Till was kidnapped from his home. Three days later, his body was found, naked and mutilated.
Till’s death was retribution for the black teenager’s reported whistling at a white woman. His murder became one of the inciting events of the civil rights movement, but it hasn’t received its due on the big screen.
Not for lack of trying. Shadow and Act observes that a new Whoopi Goldberg-produced movie about Till will be the fourth in the works about a boy remembered most for his death because he never got a chance to live. Titled “Till,” the project is currently raising funds. The film’s Kickstarter page notes that it will “depict the tragically brutal lynching of Emmett Till in 1955 and the courageous, catalytic decisions his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, made that galvanized the American Civil Rights movement.”
“Here is a story that is as much a part of American history as the Boston Tea Party and may stand as the greatest argument for getting rid of sanctioned racism,” Goldberg commented. “Emmett Till’s brutal death at the hands of ignorant, brutish people exposes the Jim Crow-era South that gave the implicit OK to uphold that kind of racism without any real fear of repercussions. Today, the return of rampant, unchallenged racism cries out for the telling of Emmett Till’s story again.”
“Till” will go into production early next year.
The other Till biopics currently in development are A) a drama spearheaded by Chaz Ebert based on the book “Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America,” co-written by Till-Mobley, B) a film based on the play “The Face of Emmett Till” and C) a HBO miniseries that boasts Will Smith and Jay-Z as producers.