Free Neshoba: The Price of Freedom Essay Sample

In the year 1964, a brutal murder was staged in Philadelphia. Three civil rights workers were killed by the members of the KKK group in the county of Neshoba, Mississippi.  Years after this incident took place, two filmmakers decided to make a movie that will question the motives behind this tragic incident. Micki Dickoff and Tony Pagano decided to make Neshoba: The Price of Freedom.

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This film sought to show the value of reporting and in the process it engrossed the story and re told it once more.On any other normal occasion, one would expect that a film like this one will be popular to the viewers by being aired on the public television or the cable networks. However, the film Neshoba was produced to details such that if it was to be enacted on the theatre, it would be possible. What makes this film so interesting is the way Dickoff and Pagano decide to not only limit their script to the murders in 1964, but also the legal measures that took place.

The three civil right workers that were killed were two white Northesterners; Andrew goodman and Michael Schwener, and a black Philadelphian,James Chaney. The three were reportedly killed by a mob of the KKK members, and the mob consisted of more than 20 klan members. However, only a few of these men were ever taken to the court and prosecuted three years after the tragedy took place. This was not just all, the handful that were taken to court were sentenced to very little time in prison. Everyone knew that tha leader behind this killings was a man known as Edgar Ray Killen. He was never charged. 40 years on, justice has not been done and nobody had given up on it. The families of the deceased together with their friends and families sought to seek justice. They were backed by the "Philadelphia Coalition", which included justice seeking individuals of that town. and in the year 2004 the case was re opened. The Attorney general's office issued a warrant arrest for Mr. Killen and he was finally taken to court for trial. His trial arose the renewed attention on the case. This was a relief to the families of the victims.

Neshoba has got all it takes to be interesting, gripping and revealing to what the eye had not seen before on this case.  The producers use the old fashioned technique to tell the story. Footage from the archives was used in the narration together with the re-enactments of the scenes. The two filmmakers do their homework so well in researching about this film. They get to the family members of the victims as well as the families of the accused. These include the witnesses, lawyers and also the residents of Neshoba. They even get to interview Killen himself making the film even more realistic. Getting information from both sides gets to resolve un biases that may have come up in the making of the film and also defines the film in detail even more. The mothers of the victims give a very touching and dignified narration. However, when it comes to Killen, he shows no remorse for his actions. Killen's testimony is so disturbing and annoying. He makes the movie become so villain for anyone practices justice in the society.  He reminds the viewer of how racism is still existent in our countries with the way he got away as a mere scapegoat for all those other men who committed these brutal killings.

Even though this film has got an ending that is upbeat, it carries a heavy feeling of  loss and melancholy. From the post script, we get to know that the mothers of the victims died way too early. Fannie Lee Chaney and Carolyn Goodman passed away before this movie was released.  Neshoba : The Price of Freedom is an ideal movie to reflect the plight of the minor in the society and the oppression that is brought about by racism.


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