Now more than ever, films like “Just Mercy” are important viewing for those seeking to understand systemic racism in America.
The film follows civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson (portrayed by Michael B. Jordan) as he fights to exonerate those who have been wrongly convicted, like Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx), an Alabama man who was convicted of murdering a white woman and sentenced to death.
Although the film is a fictionalized account of an actual case that began in 1986, the issues presented therein are scarily relevant today. People all over the country — and the world — are protesting and calling for justice for George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis; Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was allegedly murdered by two white men while running through a suburban Georgia neighborhood; Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was killed by police officers who were executing a no-knock warrant in her Louisville, Kentucky home in the middle of the night; and countless others who have died at the hands of alleged police violence.
As a show of support for those who are fighting against racism, the makers of “Just Mercy” have made the film available to watch for free for the entire month of June. It can be found on the following streaming platforms: Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Redbox, Vudu, Cox, Fandango Now, the Playstation Store, Google Play, Microsoft, Spectrum, Xfinity, Optimum, Fios by Verizon, and YouTube. There are also plans to make the film available on DirectTV, Frontier, and Mediacom.
In a statement shared on their website, the filmmakers explained their decision to make the film more accessible, writing, “We believe in the power of story. Our film ‘Just Mercy,’ based on the life work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, is one resource we can humbly offer to those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society.”
“For the month of June, ‘Just Mercy’ will be available to rent for free across digital platforms in the US,” they continued. “To actively be part of the change our country is so desperately seeking, we encourage you to learn more about our past and the countless injustices that have led us to where we are today.”
They concluded, “Thank you to the artists, storytellers and advocates who helped make this film happen. Watch with your family, friends and allies.”
Want more information on the cases in “Just Mercy”?
Although McMillian’s case made up the main plot of the film, other death row cases were included as well, like Herbert Richardson, a Vietnam War veteran who was put to death for killing a young girl with a pipe bomb, and Anthony Ray Hinton, an Alabama man who was exonerated after spending decades in prison for a series of killings he was not involved in.
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