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Mississippi Burning

Mississippi Burning (1988)

December. 08,1988
| Drama Crime

Two FBI agents investigating the murder of civil rights workers during the 60s seek to breach the conspiracy of silence in a small Southern town where segregation divides black and white. The younger agent trained in FBI school runs up against the small town ways of his partner, a former sheriff.


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This film involves the investigation of the disappearance of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1967.Dafoe plays the straight man from the FBI, He does everything by the book. But he doesn't get far. His investigation is blocked every step of the way by the locals, including law enforcement and the KKK. Clearly these Southern boys don't appreciate these 'bleeding heart liberals' coming down from the North and telling them how to 'treat their coloured folk'...The Gene Hackman comes along. He's another lawman, but with a more radical approach to investigation...Hackman's character is quite happy to do whatever it takes to achieve the desired objective including beating, threatening and intimidating witnesses and suspects. This approach is more successful...But will it prevail, in the face of opposition from (almost) the entire town?As usual, Dafoe is brilliant, and Hackman, of course never puts a foot wrong. He must have a really good agent, because I have never seen him act badly or be in a bad film. In fact his only mistake in his entire career seems to have been dental in nature...surely someone should tell these guys that 70 year olds do not have perfect, straight white teeth...


A personal favorite of mine for many years, Mississippi Burning is one of those films that once viewed is hard to forget. And that's as it should be.Superlative acting across the board. Sure-handed direction and top quality writing. Hackman, DaFoe, McDormand, Ermey, Rooker, Dourif...no need to say any more.America...how far we have come - sadly, how very far we have yet to go...


Oof, finally got around to viewing this Oscar-nominated Best Picture from 1988 and what a tough watch. This sweaty tale of the FBI taking on the Ku Klux Klan in Civil Rights-era Mississippi has taken on renewed relevance in today's world, given the ugly, hateful faction of Americans who our current President has encouraged to crawl out from beneath their slimy rocks. This is no liberal feel-good version of the fight against racism and bigotry, in which a call for mutual understanding wins the day. No, in this film, the only way to beat ugliness is to be yet uglier. There was a time when this movie would have left a bad taste in my mouth, but in the light of recent current events, I received a tremendous amount of cathartic satisfaction in watching Gene Hackman beat up a bunch of worthless white trash. Oh if it were only that easy.Cinematographer Peter Biziou won an Oscar for his work on this film, which was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Alan Parker), Best Actor (Hackman), Best Supporting Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Film Editing, and Best Sound.Grade: A


When I was a child and a young man, I really trusted. As an adult, the best it gets is one person at a time. I lived in the South for most of my first 30 years. I am 63 today.I have never understood bondage. I was born free. There are things a free person would never do, money or not.Family is a central force Worldwide. Not making a problem is silence to experience we all face from child to adult. Free will is something that independence over an oppressor has always used in the pyramids of control. There is only so much entertainment. Then it is facts that never change. Love is from above. Never compromise it.Just watching the movie. It is from 1988. Today is May 3, 2016. After Obama, I need to learn all over what I thought about equality and democracy.