The documentary in question tells us the story of a black teenager Emmet Luis Till who lived in the USA in 1940s-1950s. The film raises a problem of racism which was brutal and mad in those days, but this problem clearly remains topical nowadays as well. The story of this young man became sadly remembered all over the country due to the cruelty of the murder and the decision of boy’s mother to have an open casket funeral.
The documentary has some important implications for contemporary research in sociology. The biased attitude towards black people is preserved even though the modern society tries to get rid of such prejudices. In the South of the USA in the 1950s it sufficed for a young black man to address a white woman in public to get brutally murdered by her relatives. Moreover, the murderers were justified at the legal level: by the jury consisted of all-white and all-male members even though the incident was covered in numerous newspapers. Today the situation has improved and there are fewer cruel acts of racism at least those that would be justified by legislation, but prepossession towards black people still exists which is proved by numerous media publications illustrating the unfair treatment of black people from police.
Secondly, the film points out the importance of the public naming of racism acts. Till’s mother made a hard decision to have an open casket funeral so that the whole world could see what had been done to her son by the murderers. She also appealed to the entire country to respond to injustice so that her son did not die in vain. Even though the murderers were acquitted, it was important for the whole society to face the problem of racism and that incident became one of the turning points in the history of the struggle of black people for their rights. Thereby the central idea of the film is to demonstrate that it is crucial to draw public attention towards acts of racism in order to arouse large-scale condemnation of such behavior and to avoid silencing the problem.