Ghosts of Mississippi
- 2 hr 10 min
Imagine Mississippi in the summertime, 1963. Medgar Evers (James Pickens, Jr.) is shot to death as he arrives home to his wife and three young children. A white supremacist, Byron De La Beckwith (James Woods), is the prime suspect supported by a mountain of evidence building against him. Two trials, heard by all white juries, resulted in two acquittals. Despite this, Evers’ widow Myrlie (Whoopi Goldberg) never gives up the hope of bringing her husband’s killer to justice. Beckwith is sure he has gotten away with murder despite the very persuasive evidence against him. For 30 years he did. In 1989 Myrlie found new evidence against Beckwith and again pursued her husband’s killer. With the help of Assistant District Attorney, Bobby DeLaughter (Alec Baldwin), enough new evidence was gathered to bring Beckwith to trial for a third time for the murder of Medgar Evers. DeLaughter risked his career, political affiliations, strain on his marriage and public backlash towards his family to help Myrlie finally find justice. The relationship transforms both of them. After 30 years, in 1994, Beckwith is finally brought to justice and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Myrlie’s undying love and commitment to her husband is truly inspiring. As a portrayal of how attitudes and views in Mississippi may have changed regarding the events of June 12th, 1963, the film is lacking. This is yet another example of a movie about black civil rights, with a white main character. This American civil rights drama is based on the actual real life events of the 1994 trial of Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 assassination of Medgar Evers and stuck closely to the courtroom transcripts. The film was Directed by Rob Reiner and released in 1996. Woods’ bigoted performance is unforgettable and netted Woods a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Goldberg also gave an amazing performance. Actual members of Evers’ family played some of the characters in the movie.