Just Mercy

Theme – racial injustice. UK rating: 12.

Just Mercy (click for Wikipedia info) is a movie released in 2019 based on the true life of Bryan Stevenson (click for Wikipedia info) as he graduates from Harvard in law. He pours his life into fighting for justice for various black men imprisoned initially in Alabama – but then in his life further afield across the USA. Today he runs the Equal Justice Initiative which has saved 125 people from the death penalty.

The movie mainly focuses on the real life case of Walter McMillian who was put on death row for the murder of a young girl. Subsequent investigations prove that McMillian could not have committed the crime.

SPOILER ALERT – Eventually Stevenson takes the case to the Supreme Court of Alabama and the case against McMillian is dismissed, leaving him free. Despite it taking another 28 years, we later find out that McMillian’s cell mate was also released with all charges dropped, due to the actions of Bryan Stevenson.

Direct link to the trailerhttps://youtu.be/GVQbeG5yW78

Points from the movie

The main points from the movie revolve around racial justice, raising themes of police corruption, state corruption, the legacy of slavery, and the treatment of black people in the USA.

A good scene for racial injustice is the one when Bryan goes to the home of William McMillian. Alternatively, the scene when Bryan is stopped by the police while driving home.

There are secondary themes around fighting for injustice, not giving in to threats, persistence, committing to a cause higher than ourselves.

The final courtroom scene is also very powerful and is a cry for justice.

Thoughts and Questions

In 2020 we have seen the issue of racism in a way that we have never seen before. Some of this has been positive, some has been incredibly destructive.

  • What do you think God thinks of racial injustice?
  • What does God’s kind of justice look like and how does it differ from man’s kind of justice?
  • As Christians, how can we enter the debate in a positive, helpful, caring and fair way?
  • What does the Bible say about races and how God sees us? Take a look at Revelation 7.9 and Colossians 3.11 for example.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Revelation 7.9 (ESV)

In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

Colossians 3.11 (NLT)