To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming of age story, both for the children portrayed in this film and for the growing racial tensions throughout the south. This is also a story about a black man wrongly accused of a crime, who is on trial for the rape and beating of a white woman.
To Kill a Mockingbird achieves ambition with historical accuracy by depicting the depression era plagued south and the basic belief during that time that African Americans were inferior to the white man. This belief of racial hatred may be outdated and hard to relate to today, but this was extremely relevant to the early 1930's. The release of this film in the early 1960's was also profound because America was in the midst of the civil rights movement. As early as 6 years prior, Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus and within a year prior to the films release, President John F.
Kennedy has to dispatch federal troops to the University of Mississippi because a black student had enrolled.
Much of this film, especially the beginning, is an example of children maturing and how they view people; people of all class and color. The films opening sequence features many childhood trinkets such as jacks, marbles, crayons and a harmonica, and establish the point of view the story begins with. When the main child characters Scout and Jem watch how a black defendant, Tom Robinson, is treated because of his skin color, the meaning of prejudice begins to become understood. No one comes to this man's defense except the children's father, Atticus Finch, who defends him when he is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. You can watch the childlike innocence of Scout unravel the self appointed...