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Film Review: “The Revenge of Emmett Till”

the revenge

   Don’t get uncomfortable, don’t turn away, yes we are talking about a film about the American justice system and race, but presented in a different kind of space.This past Sunday myself and other fellow UIC students had the pleasure of attending a private screening of “The Revenge of Emmett Till” a film by Enstrumental at the Gene Siskel Film Center. This film was moderated by Lupe Fiasco, and produced by Hebru Brantley. Enstrumental is a clothing company that creates clothing products that reach beyond the expectations of the masses, and this film was no exception.

The film begins in present day Chicago, with the film’s narrator Dwamina K. Drew(creator of Enstrumental),  as he tells the story of how his family as well as many other African American families migrated north to Chicago during the Great Migration that took place in America from the 1910-1970s. Drew transitions into the story of Emmett Till, Emmett Louis “Bobo” Till was 14-year old African-American teenager from Chicago who was murdered August 28,1955 in Money, Mississippi after reported flirting with a white woman. The killers were acquitted in 5 days.  The film is a composite of mixed media, including an eyewitness account from Emmett Till’s cousin Simeon Wright, and soundtracked by hip hop music that puts a sensitive subject into a popular culture context.The film shows the process of contemporary artist Hebru Brantley’s painting “The Revenge of Emmett Till” to which he describes his connection to the story of Emmett Till, and how related themes behind the story reminded him of black exploitation films which was the motivation behind the painting. The film highlights how the death of Emmett Till, trial, and funeral ignited the Civil Rights movement.

Enstrumental  presents the story not from a place of anger, but from the perspective of African American history. This is what happen, and these are the facts. This film challenges the current state of the American justice system and African Americans’ role in society. Although, the title reads revenge but not by the means of violence and destruction, but through the power of the mind. This film is educational, raw, and must see  for the millennial generation. For more information about this film check out Tune In Fridays’ from 2-4 The Pop Show by Ashlee Jordan


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