Letter: Timeless ‘Mockingbird’
It is worth noting the passing of Rosemary Murphy, who played Miss Maddie in To Kill a Mockingbird.
This film and book are among the most impactful achievements in the history of American literary and cinematic art.
You can have your Star Wars, Star Trek, Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind et al, this film said something about ourselves and cut to the core of right and wrong, human decency and the evil of prejudice in the form of a riveting drama.
Juxtaposing the pure innocence of Scout, the righteous dignity of Atticus, the plight of the inherently decent and shy outcast Boo Radley with the easy pre-judgement of Tom Robinson when something awful happens was pure genius. No SFX. No CGI. No sexually appealing actor du jour, just a plain look into what could have been mid-1930s Alabama.
As we debate the death penalty in this state, we should all read or watch this gut-wrenching dramatization of the human failures that can lead to injustice, and the amazing backbone of those who would stand against injustice.
This would make a great summer read or video 54 years after its publication.