A Time To Kill Film Analysis

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A Time to Kill is an American crime drama released in 1996. The film is based on the 1988 book of the same name by John Grisham. Set in Clanton, Mississippi during the 1980’s, a time of racial tension, the movie stares Samuel L. Jackson as Carl Lee Hailey, Matthew McConaughey as Jake Brigance, and Sandra Bullock as Ellen Roark. As a part of this film review, I will be answer two questions what are the dominant and minority groups in the film and how the film relates Human Rights and Social Justice. To begin with, since the film is set in Mississippi during the 1980s, the dominant group would be Caucasian males. Within this film, the dominant group is represented in one of two ways. On one hand, they are shown as being well-educated, seemingly…show more content…
The first, most obvious one, is African Americans. Despite the sheriff of the town, Ozzie Walls, being black, the majority of the African Americans in the film are represented as lower class, less intelligent/sophisticated individuals. Their speech is less educated with a sort of accent to it that is unheard in the Caucasians speech. Most, including Carl Lee, work in service jobs a woodcutters, grocery shop workers, waiters, court transcript writers, etc…. The jail in Clanton, Mississippi is still segregated and the there is a vast difference with the amount of Caucasians in jail and the amount of African Americans. However, the best example of their differences is when it comes to the way they are punished. It was a known fact to the characters in the film and to the audience that Billy Ray and Pete would escape punishment for the rape of Tonya because they were Caucasians and she was an African American, even though she was only a little girl. Even if they were found guilty, they still would not have served a very long or horrendous sentence. Though, as soon as Carl Lee and shot and killed them both, many called for the death penalty no matter the reason for his crime. At one point, when Freddie is talking to some of his friends, he mentions that if a *explicit* had done what Carl did ten years ago they would have lynched and hanged him with no delay. If we were to flip the premise of the movie around and it be an African

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