“We believe in the power of story”
Just Mercy is a 2019 American legal drama film directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. It tells the true story of Walter McMillian, who, with the help of young defence attorney Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction. The film is based on the memoir of the same name, written by Stevenson.
Warner Bros. has announced on the film’s official twitter account that it is making Just Mercy available for free on digital platforms such as Amazon and Apple TV app throughout June in response to the death of George Floyd, a victim to police brutality and racism in Minneapolis. As protests continue to take place across the nation, Warner Bros. is hoping this legal drama can be used as an educational tool to help people learn more about systemic racism in American society and its effects on an individual.
“We believe in the power of story,” a statement from Warner Bros. reads. “Our film Just Mercy, based on the life work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, is one resource we can humbly offer to those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society. For the month of June, ‘Just Mercy’ will be available to rent for free across digital platforms in the US.”
The post adds, “To actively be part of the change our country is so desperately seeking, we encourage you to learn more about our past and the countless injustices that have led us to where we are today. Thank you to the artists, storytellers, and advocates who helped make this film happen. Watch with your family, friends, and allies. For further information on Bryan Stevenson and his work at the Equal Justice Initiative please visit EJI.org.”
Just Mercy made its way to the theatres last Christmas after world premiering at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. The cast includes Michael B. Jordan as Bryan Stevenson, Jamie Foxx as Walter McMillian, and Brie Larson as Eva Ansley. The film was originally set to expand to a wide release in January 2020 when it opened in 2,375 theatres. Just Mercy grossed $36 million in the United States and Canada, and $14.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $50.4 million and is widely critically acclaimed.
Black Lives Matters is currently fighting systematic police racism in the US. Celebrities, public figures, politicians, and activists have all come out to bat for Black Lives Matter amidst social unrest in the U.S. Making Just Mercy free for watching to the public by Warner Bros. is their contribution to educating people about the history of racism in the U.S. The hope is that the step has a positive outcome and educates anyone who is watching it.