Film Review – MISSISSIPPI BURNING (1989)

Mississippi Burning (1989; USA; DuArt; 127m) ∗∗∗∗  d. Alan Parker; w. Chris Gerolmo; ph. Peter Biziou; m. Trevor Jones.  Cast: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif, R. Lee Ermey, Gailard Sartain, Stephen Tobolowsky, Michael Rooker, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Badja Djola, Kevin Dunn, Frankie Faison, Robert F. Colesberry, Frederick Zollo. In 1964, when three civil-rights workers, two white and one black, mysteriously disappear while driving through Mississippi, two FBI agents (Dafoe and Hackman) are sent in to investigate. Shocking, gripping and brutal. Parker delivers a hard, but essential watch. The conflicts between Dafoe’s by-the-book agent and Hackman’s old-school approach using his knowledge of the culture give the story its moral conundrum. Top performances all round and technically accomplished with Oscar-winning cinematography. Based on historical events. Received six additional Oscar nominations including Best Picture. [18]