Just Mercy film poster

Local audiences will have the chance to see a powerful film on the silver screen that is sure to spur conversations about racial discrimination in the justice system, the quest for equality and ways to strengthen our own community when it comes to embracing our differences.

The Rome International Film Festival will screen the film “Just Mercy,” a biographical legal drama featuring the all-star cast of Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson.

The screening will take place on Thursday, March 19, in the Rome City Auditorium at 7 p.m., and will be followed by a question-and-answer session led by local leaders.

The event is free and open to the public.

The event is co-sponsored by One Community United, 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia, the Rome Chapter of the NAACP, Georgia Highlands College, The Envision Center and Georgia Highlands African American and Minority Male Excellence.

“This film is an extraordinary depiction of the unjust and unfair processes of the judicial system against minorities. Although this event occurred many years ago, it still has strong relevance today,” said James Lee, President of 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia. “This movie should serve as motivation for us to continue to push for prison reform and equality for all.”

Theatrically-released in December 2019, the film tells the true story of Walter McMillian, a wrongly convicted death row inmate appealing his murder conviction. The film is based on the best-selling memoir written by Bryan Stevenson, the defense attorney for McMillian.

In ‘Just Mercy,’ Stevenson travels to Alabama in 1989, hoping to assist people who couldn’t afford attorneys. While visiting death row, he meets McMillian and discovers that his sentence was built on testimony provided by a convicted felon in exchange for a lighter sentence.

Foxx was nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Supporting Role” at the 26th Annual Screen Guild Awards for his portrayal of Walter McMillian.

“This is an excellent and powerful film,” said Cheryl Jenkins, Board Member of One Community United. “I hope this will help us have courageous, hard conversations that will help move us all toward racial justice.”

The film, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, premiered in the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019.

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