DIRECTOR: Alan Parker
Loosely based on a real case in 1964, as three civil right activists, two white and one black men where murdered by the Ku Klux Klan, Mississippi Burning takes its’ time as it begins by establishing both the old and new school relationship between FBI Agents Hackman and Dafoe, as well as the stone walling of the out and out racist South of that era.
Maybe a generalisation but still, it not too far from the truth and nor is this film. The names have been changed and details smudged but the tone and issues are very real and Alan Parker’s take on the civil rights era is very effective and very 1980’s. It pulls few punches.
Very much a film of moments but when those moments occur, generally involving Gene Hackman, they make the movie and this is a film of performances. Though I must say that this is not, in my opinion, Willem Dafoe’s best work. In fact, I kept thinking that this was one of his early works not a film which was made AFTER Plattoon! Definitely a must see and an engrossing drama which develops into a thriller, and a satisfying one by the final act.