Mississippi Burning Essay

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Topics: Ku Klux Klan
“Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” This quote from Abraham Joshua Heschel sums up how inconsiderate and cruel people can be, without processing how evil their actions and words are. Few of us seem to realise how crooked, how universal and how evil racism is. In the film ‘Mississippi Burning’ directed by Alan Parker we see the idea of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’, through racism, fear and corruption. Parker helps us understand the thoughtlessness and evilness of this idea, with the use of verbal and visual techniques such as dialogue, camera angle and shots,

After three Civil Rights workers, who were organizing a voter registry clinic, go missing in Mississippi's Jessup County, the FBI deputes Agents Rupert Anderson and Alan Ward to investigate. Agent in charge Alan Ward does everything by the book, while Agent Rupert Anderson however was a Sheriff in Mississippi before joining the FBI and understands the local culture. He's also prepared to bend the rules a bit if it will help in the investigation. After the duo encounter hostility at the hands of the county police and other males, more agents are brought in. This leads to a media frenzy, with Mayor Tilman proclaiming openly that this community is an Anglo-Saxon democracy, an example of successful segregation that has been able to withstand the onslaught of integration, and total non-acceptance of Jews, Papists, Turks, Mongols, Orientals, Asians, and Negros. While differences crop up between investigative tactics of the two agents, the Ku Klux Klan, aided by the police, target the fearful African-Americans, brutally torturing them and setting their houses on fire. With the entire local community, both black and white, refusing to come forward with any information. The FBI must now consider using other methods to try and find out what really happened to the three workers.

The main idea of man’s inhumanity to man is clearly shown in this film as Parker uses

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