Review of ‘Till’, by Chinonye Chukwu with Danielle Deadwyler

4.5 out of 5.0 stars

In 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till traveled to Mississippi to spend a few days with his cousins. The boy from a big city like Chicago was always cared for by his mother so that he would not experience the constant whipping of African-Americans. However, Mississippi was not Chicago. On August 24, he entered a small store in the town of Money, and although there is no 100% exact information on what happened there, it is known that Emmett, very charismatic and innocent, flirted with Carolyn Bryant, the young woman white girl who ran the place. Days after that, Roy Bryant, Carolyn’s husband, searched for and took Emmett from his uncle’s house. The following three days, the boy’s body was found floating in the river with a shot to the head and totally disfigured by the blows.. Tillfrom Chinonye Chukwu (clemency), tells this story and the fight of his mother, Mamie Till, in search of justice.

Till (2022). Address: Chinonye Chukwu. Script: Keith Beauchamp, Chinonye Chukwu, Michael Reilly. Cast: Danielle Deadwyler, Jalyn Hall, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Patrick Thomas, Gem Marc Collins, Haley Bennett, among others. Photography: Bobby Bukowski. Edition: Rum Patane. Music: Abel Korzeniowski. Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes. Our opinion: Very good.

There is certainly an idea that a civil rights story is “your typical Hollywood Oscar movie.” But belittling this subgenre is like telling African-Americans to forget about it, or worse, to turn the page. And although yes, most of these films have not dazzled much in the last decade, since they have been made in an almost mechanical way, Tillis the perfect example of why this type of cinema is necessary.

The film will especially follow Mamie Till’s fight to show the whole of America what they did to her son. It is impossible not to feel moved and upset (at the same time) in the scene when she must recognize the body. The feeling of not being able to believe what is in front of our eyes invades the entire audience. The pain of a mother crosses the screen. Danielle Deadwyler’s work is one of the best of the year and will surely receive several nominations. An emotional journey that goes from fear to courage. Those performances that are impregnated after leaving the room.


Chinonye Chukwu makes the very intelligent decision not to show physical violence as this genre has accustomed us so much, but instead chooses to expose the dark, still recent, past of a nation. The film does not fall into the heavy solemnity of empty dialogues, but rather nimbly searches for the facts. Showing an established pattern in American justice. Till thus ends up being one of the most complete films of the year.

This review is part of our coverage of the New York Film Festival 60

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