"Emmett never thought anything would happen to him," Mamie Till Bradley says in the trailer for Till, a biopic about the life and legacy of Emmett Till told from the perspective of his mother. "He just wanted to go on vacation and have fun with his cousins. But if my son could just get his feet back onto this Chicago soil, he'd be one happy kid."
The film follows 14-year-old Emmett (played by Jalyn Hall) to Mississippi, where in 1955, he was falsely accused of harassing a white woman and brutally lynched by a group of white men. In the wake of his murder, Mamie's (Danielle Deadwyler) courageous pursuit of justice for her son served as a catalyst for the Civil Rights movement.
As Mamie says in the trailer, "The lynching of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all."
Till is directed by Chinonye Chukwu (Clemency) from a script she wrote with Michael Reilly and Keith Beauchamp. Whoopi Goldberg serves as a producer on the film and stars as Mamie's mother, Alma Carthan, with a cast that also includes Frankie Faison and Haley Bennett.
In a filmmaker's statement, Chukwu explains that she has no intentions of "re-traumatizing audiences or myself" with the biopic. "The crux of this story is not about the traumatic, physical violence inflicted upon Emmett — which is why I refused to depict such brutality in the film — but it is about Mamie's remarkable journey in the aftermath."
"Had it not been for Mamie, her son's memory would have evaporated into thin air," Chukwu says. "She was the catalyst for a modern-day civil rights movement that has laid a formidable framework for future activists and Freedom Fighters. I felt compelled to champion Mamie’s legacy and center her in the spotlight where she rightfully belongs."
Till opens in select theaters on Oct. 14 and nationwide on Oct. 28. Watch the trailer below.