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Mississippi Burning (1988)

Crime | 128 minutes
3,83 1.642 votes

Genre: Crime / Drama

Duration: 128 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: Alan Parker

Stars: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe and Frances McDormand

IMDb score: 7,8 (110.497)

Releasedate: 8 December 1988

Mississippi Burning plot

"1964. When America was at war with itself."

Mississippi 1964. Three human rights activists are brutally murdered. Reason enough for research. Two FBI agents, the young Ward (William Dafoe) and the older, seasoned Anderson (Gene Hackman), soon find themselves unwelcome in town. The more evidence that emerges, the more houses are set on fire as a warning.

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avatar van Film Pegasus

Film Pegasus (moderator films)

  • 30493 messages
  • 5204 votes

Even in 1988 this must have been a striking film that made an impression in the US. In terms of story, it sometimes resembles a John Grisham thriller, but even then it still has its impact. The story of 2 cops who each in their own way think that enough is enough and want to put a stop to the umpteenth racist murder. The moment is at its boiling point. Many more people protested against racism in the 1960s and the voice also sounds louder from white people. A year before these facts, Martin Luther King spoke the words 'I have a dream'. And many well-known artists also speak out publicly. The racism is not gone yet, but the murder of 3 activists in an American city steeped in corruption and racism from the south cannot just get away with it.

The 2 agents also deal with this in their own way. The young FBI agent from the north who wants to put an end to that racist past. Ambitious as he is, he pulls out all the stops to solve the case. The experienced cop from his own Mississippi is partly tired because he finds little support in the local police force, which is equally at fault. He experiences that he has to color outside the lines in order to get something done. Gradually they find each other in the different ways of approach.

A captivating film with a story that is still relevant today. Well acted, appropriate direction and editing that ensure that the story has the necessary spice. Still relevant after 30 years!

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avatar van arno74


  • 8700 messages
  • 3342 votes

Now that movies about the racist past (and present) of the US have been in vogue for a while, I decided to check this one out too. I think it's better than recent films like Green Book or BlacKkKlansman, which seem to be mainly intended for entertainment (beautiful films, but they almost give an idyllic picture of racism, as if that funny times, something this movie doesn't do). Mississippi Burning takes a look at one of the actions that slowly dared to tackle the white supremacy, the open violence and racial hatred against black people and began to break down.

Excellent acting, captivating from start to finish, compelling, and also true. Solid 4*.

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avatar van MisterJames


  • 103 messages
  • 219 votes

It's been a long time since I wrote a review. At first I thought Mississippi Burning was a thriller, but it went more in the drama side. Impressive and pretty insane that this happened so late in history, the bad guys may be the most exaggerated hillbillies (Dourif, Rooker, well cast!) they could probably find, but that doesn't make the truth any less shocking . The story is very captivating, admittedly little mystery, but it certainly held my attention. Hackman plays fantastically as a clumsy detective and his character also gets the most depth. Also nice to see Dafoe when he was still young, would have been nice if his character had been given some more picture time. The visuals in the film are beautiful, and the gospel music suited the film perfectly. The army tune that comes back a few times in the film didn't fit at all, but okay. Just up to a 4.0!

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