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A Time to Kill
Joel Schuhmacher and John Grisham

Based on the novel by John Grisham, this legal drama film deals with racism, rape, and the American legal jury system. A ten-year-old Afro-American girl is raped and beaten up by two white men who are arrested but will probably walk free. Upon hearing that, Carl Lee, the girl’s father in a mood of rage and despair walks to the courthouse, shoots both rapists, and accidentally wounds a Deputy and friend. Carl Lee is arrested and the death penalty is proposed. The case gains national media attention and his lawyer, a white man, takes on the case but must make great sacrifices for it. He seeks to bring Carl Lee to a more diverse county but is denied the request so that he must defend Carl Lee before an all-white jury. When the brother of one of the rapists calls the Ku Klux Klan for help avenging his sibling, the situation escalates…

The movie might come in handy when discussing the subject of racism and also the subject of vigilante justice.

/ · · 1996

Critical edition

A Time to Kill. Directed by Joel Schuhmacher, Warner Bros., 1996. 143 min., FSK 12

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In favour of this entry

  • Addresses current affairs
  • Award-winning
  • Democratic and political education
  • Silenced voices