Movie – Mississippi Burning

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            The movie “Mississippi Burning” is a dramatic film that was based on a true-to-life story. The tale is about the murder of three civil rights workers in United States murdered and killed in Mississippi, dating back to the year 1964. The movie was released in theaters in the year 1988. It depicts and highlights the process of investigation in the murder case of the three civil rights workers that was suspected to be murdered by the “Ku Klux Klan” while traveling in the back country road at night time (“Mississippi Burning,” n.d.).

            The Ku Klux Klan is a secret group or organization in the United States that was known to be an advocate of white superiority and of violence that aims to oppress the black African American people (Answers Corporation, 2008).

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            In the movie, the two main characters were played by set of multi-talented actors Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe as the agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that were assigned to investigate the three slay cases of James E. Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman. This group of young Americans were volunteers of the Congress Of Racial Equality or better known as “CORE” that primarily aims to help African Americans in Mississippi in their acquisition of the right to vote. Gene Hackman played as the first FBI agent “John Proctor” and Willem Dafoe as the other FBI agent Joseph Sulivan, on which are both assigned under the mission named “MIBURN” that is better known as “Mississippi Burning,” which likewise served as the movie’s title.

            In a brief review of the movie, most of the scenes had evolved in the process of investigation by the two Federal Bureau of Investigation or (FBI) agents, regarding the murder case of the three civil right workers and to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan. This investigation is in aid of pointing out the cover up activities of Ku Klux Klan for their unlawful act of murdering the activists. Moreover, the movie Mississippi Burning is a depiction of a true-to-life story of racial discrimination in the United States way back the mid 19th century.

The film commenced with the scene where the three civil rights activists and volunteers are traveling late at night on the back country road and they came across a van that was packed with members of the Ku Klux Klan. The next scenes were depictions of car chase where the activist were forced by the members of Ku Klux Klan to get off the road. Without any hesitations and aggravation from the civil rights activists, the members then killed the three young brave men. The murder triggers the assignment of two different FBI agents with diverse notion and personality on a mission named “MIBURN” that is specifically formulated to resolve the murder case. At the end of the story, only one member was left responsible for killing and had been sentenced and was imprisoned while the rest are held not liable in the case.

            The tactics used by the Ku Klux Klan are inhumane and had violated the human and civil rights. Based on the details of the movie, the Ku Klux Klan had committed various criminal acts by killing the three young civil rights activists and by spreading violence for the entire black African American society. With this, it is fair enough to say that the tactics used by Ku Klux Klan is violence, on which they harm other people to pursue their beliefs and principle. Hence, the Ku Klux Klan utilizes scare in the form of violence in able to achieve the goal of their organization. This primarily aims to pursue the beliefs of their group in racism.

            The two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents, on the other hand, had also used their specific tactics in order to resolve the murder case of three civil rights activists. Although the investigation had been tough for the two agents, both had totally agreed to use oppression by solving the case, wherein these two agents had bullied one of the member Ku Klux Klan to confide all the critical information about the murder case of the three civil rights. Therefore, the two FBI agents had used oppression as their tactics to solve the case and sentenced the responsible for the murder.

            From the events that may be recalled from the movie, it is fair to categorize the acts of the Ku Klux Klan as to be among the bounds of terrorism due to the fact that they instrumentally used violence in bringing about scare and oppression to the African American society. The killings and arson that they committed towards the African American community exhibited elements of terrorism within the country that could even be considered as a threat to the democracy that citizens enjoy. Where these acts are indeed punishable by law, it should not have been that it was the member who was made accountable to the law. Rather, it should be the one who was responsible for organizing and directing the group toward committing the devious acts portrayed in the movie. Likewise, the means employed by the FBI agents were to be considered unethical as there different strategies they could have used which would better serve the suspects being investigated.


 The New York Times (2008), Mississippi Burning. Retrieved May 29, 2008 from   
Answers Corporation (2008), Dictionary: Ku Klux Klan: Retrieved May 29, 2008 from   

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Movie – Mississippi Burning. (2017, Jan 10). Retrieved from

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