Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Broccoli explain why ‘Till’ is told from mother’s perspective

Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Broccoli

Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Broccoli have said that they felt “very strongly” about telling the story of Emmett Till’s murder from the perspective of his mother Mamie.

Set in Mississippi in 1955, the film focuses on the extraordinary decisions Mamie Till-Mobley (played by Danielle Deadwyler) made in the aftermath of the tragedy in which her 14-year-old son was abducted, tortured and killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. As well as serving as executive producer, Goldberg plays Emmett Till’s grandmother, Alma Carthan.

During a recent post-screening Q&A in London, producers Goldberg and Broccoli explained why they elected to tell the story from Till-Mobley’s perspective and never considered to tell it in any other way.

“[Telling it from her perspective] was essential and that was something that Whoopi and I felt very strongly about. We felt it was essentially a love story between a mother and a son,” Broccoli explained [via FilmNews]. 

The film was written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, who also directed 2019’s Clemency, and she agreed with Goldberg and Broccoli’s direction when it came to the film’s perspective. The three also agreed that the film should not show the violent sequence of events that led to Emmett Till’s death.

“She was adamant not to show the violence, only the aftermath. We were just so thrilled because we felt that we all totally agreed with her,” Broccoli continued.

“You don’t need to see it. Nobody needed to see it. We know what it looks like and we know what it sounds like. We didn’t give you a whole long sound of it, we let you know it was happening. Because what was important in this movie is what she does with what was done to her child,” added Goldberg.

Broccoli added that she wants the film to be a tribute to Till-Mobley, who died in 2003, and hopes the film will let people know more about her both as a person and a prominent figure in the civil rights movement.

Till is set for release on January 6.

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