The world of film and television is, for the most part, observing a blackout today, Tuesday June 2nd, to reflect and consider the death of George Floyd at the hands of police (to say nothing of the centuries of systemic racism). And while that reflection should also lead to direct action in terms of donating funds and other concrete forms of support, it is also a day to educate oneself about the plight of black people in the United States and the problems they face within its systems.
And Warner Bros. Pictures is trying to do so in its own small way by making digital rentals of its film, Just Mercy, free for the rest of the month. Based on the life work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, the film is something the studio says is “one resource we can humbly offer to those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society.” Michael B. Jordan stars as Stevenson, who takes on the case of Walter McMillan (Jamie Foxx), a wrongly convicted man languishing on death row. The film was directed by Shang Chi‘s Destin Daniel Cretton and should likely be on your watchlist today. We’re certainly going to watch it.
Additionally, the studio encouraged viewers to “learn more about our past and the countless injustices that have led us to where we are today.” They also suggested going EJI.org to learn more about Stevenson and his work at the Equal Justice Initiative.
While most of the stories we cover on Comicon are flights of fancy, they have their roots in the sense of an essential form of justice. Trying to obtain justice is not always easy or pleasant and sometimes it means looking at our own world instead of places where change can occur with the clack of keys or the progression of plot. We all want a better world, but that requires understanding why it often seems so broken. We encourage you to take the day and look at what you can do or learn to create that better world in any small way.
Just Mercy is available for free on streaming rental platforms like Amazon and iTunes.