Alan Parker is one of those great British directors who had a string of hits in Hollywood then seemed to fade away for some reason, but Mississippi Burning is certainly one of his finest achievements.
Made in 1988 the film explores the root of racism and bigotry in the deep south of America and how the Klu Klux Clan had a big influence over the city. But when three kids are found murdered the FBI get involved and tensions build when the bodies are eventually found leading to a confrontation between the FBI and local law enforcement.
The film still has the power to shock today and sadly while things have improved the problems still linger on. The film shows the barbaric and violent ways in which the clan operated and how the black community were terrified to speak out. Gene Hackman as agent Anderson is superb, one of his greatest roles he uses his gut instinct and local knowledge to goad the racist into action, whereas Ward (Willem Defoe) tries to do everything by the book. They clash but both realise that they need to get to the root of the murders.
The Blu ray released by Second Sight has a solid if a little soft 1080p transfer. There is a nice layer of grain and this restored transfer is certainly the best its ever looked. Audio is LPCM 2.0 stereo and clear and well defined. Extras consist of :
- Audio Commentary with Alan Parker
- Remembering Mississippi Burning: An Interview with Willem Dafoe
- Through the Storm: An Interview with Alan Parker
- Under Siege: An Interview with Chris Gerolmo
The interviews are very interesting and shed a lot of light on how the film got made and at times how it was a difficult shoot. A shame Gene Hackman is missing from the list.
Overall a great film with a good solid transfer. Recommended.
FILM : 8.5 PICTURE: 8 AUDIO: 7 EXTRAS: 7