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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Civil Rights > History > Political > The Untold Story Of Emmett Louis Till (DVD + CD-ROM)

The Untold Story Of Emmett Louis Till (DVD + CD-ROM)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B+     Documentary: B



When I was young, I had heard the story of Emmett Till, but since the 1980s, that story has mysteriously disappeared because it is still considered to hot to handle and with a rollback and reclamation attitude from the conservative side (and worse) of the country, it is no surprise that a sort of silence and censorship has befallen this key part of history.  Keith A. Beauchamp’s bold and powerful The Untold Story Of Emmett Louis Till (2005) is an amazing retelling of the story of how the mutilation of a young 15-year-old black male was a huge impetus for what became the long-overdue Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.


He manages to secure the last interviews with family members, dig up obscure facts, visual aids and text, then assembles them in a way that offers amazing impact and made this critic angry in particular that certain media forces have tried to cleanse or ignore the story in the first place.  It is a vital part of American History that should be mandatory for all to see, hear and know.  To be blunt, a 15-year-old young man whistled at a white woman in a way to suggest she was attractive and that was all.  In order to set an example, a conspiracy was assembled by certain white supremist leaning forces to abduct, attack, mutilate and murder him, than cover it up.  It happened and denying that is beyond obscene.  Beauchamp should have had an Oscar® nomination for Best Documentary and only its 70 minute length could be the pale reason for an excuse not to.  If you do not know the till story, this is a must-see program with great journalistic integrity.


The 1.33 X 1 image is shot on analog NTSC video and looks good, compiled over several years and also including various stills and film footage throughout.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no real surrounds, but is very good for a documentary presentation.  The combination shows that the creators really cared about the material.  Extras include a CD-ROM that has printable materials on the history and subject of Till and Civil Rights.  There is also a nice paper slip with a director’s statement and the main DVD includes trailers for this and three other ThinkFilm titles including Protocols Of Zion, text about Till, an interview featurette and full-length audio commentary by director Beauchamp that is very thorough.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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