Back in January, a couple of friends and I went to see the recently released movie Just Mercy. It was one of the most powerful, and gut-wrenching, movies I have ever seen.
On that day, all three of us grown men found ourselves crying in this movie theater. I’ll be even more honest. This was the most I have ever cried while watching a movie. I was weeping, just weeping—neared wailing at one point. I was trying to hold some of it back because, well, it was turning loud, and here I was in a public cinema.
I’ve grown up in the south, live in Memphis, and am very aware of racist realities. And I have seen other films and documentaries that drive home the point very well (American History X, Selma, 13th, When They See Us, etc). And while all of those communicated something deeply, and painfully, to me, Just Mercy hit me like nothing I have watched in my 40 years of living.
Just Mercy is the story of Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx), who was sentenced to die for the murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite overwhelming evidence proving his innocence. McMillian was defended by a young graduate of Harvard, Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan). This movie clearly details the deeply rooted, systemic racism that has existed (and still does) in our country.
Here’s the thing: Just Mercy is currently being offered for FREE rental during the month of June – via YouTube, Prime, and Apple TV. I encourage every single person to take time to watch this powerful movie.