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Warner Bros. Pictures has made “Just Mercy,” a film about civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson’s work, available as a free rental for the month of June.
The studio is offering the movie as a free educational tool as people seek out more ways to learn about institutional racism as protests continue around the country.
“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,” the company wrote in a statement released on Twitter:
We believe in the power of story. #JustMercy is one resource we can offer to those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society. For the month of June, #JustMercy will be available to rent for free on digital platforms in the US. @eji_org pic.twitter.com/3B2IHMNk7E
— Just Mercy (@JustMercyFilm) June 2, 2020
In “Just Mercy,” Michael B. Jordan plays Stevenson as he fights a wrongful murder conviction against Walter McMillian, played by Jamie Foxx. The movie dramatizes the real-life story of McMillian, who was sentenced to death — by a judge who overrode the jury’s sentencing — for the murder of a young white woman in Monroeville, Alabama.
McMillian, who is black, “was an unlikely suspect,” according to Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that provides legal representation to people who have been unfairly sentenced and illegally convicted. “A white man accused of crimes in another county was pressured by police and ultimately made false statements accusing Mr. McMillian of murdering Ms. Morrison.”
Foxx earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his work in the film, and according to Rotten Tomatoes, audiences loved it (it currently holds an incredible 99% audience rating) — so you’ll be picking up important lessons in systemic racism in the justice system while you watch a compelling story. It’s a win-win.
You can stream it for free on Amazon through June.
In addition to being a powerhouse civil rights attorney, Stevenson is a bestselling author. The movie is based on his memoir, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.”
The book, which focuses on the McMillian case but includes others Stevenson has tried over the years, has also earned a ton of praise from readers.
“The message of this book, hammered home by dramatic examples of one man’s refusal to sit quietly and countenance horror, is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made,” the New York Times review of the memoir reads. “‘Just Mercy’ will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”