Mississippi Burning is a thought provoking and deeply moving piece of work that becomes an ideological statement. In this essay, I will analyze the film Mississippi Burning as a representation of intercultural communication. I argue that the film provides essential lessons about dominant group's influences over a culture's valve and belief. More importantly, the film explicitly demonstrates the ripple effects that can come about when one culture tries to engage in communication with another culture without having any understand of the other. This film is important to study, not because it bring to light the ugliness of racism, but goes to the heart of the need for each of us to understand not only our own culture, but the culture of others in an objective point of view in order to overcome intolerance. .
I will start the essay with a summarized review of the film and then I provide detail account of two important scenes. I will interpret these two essential scenes in relation to problems associated with intercultural communication. (Need to add more here).
In 1964, one of the most violent years in U.S. history, in the state of Mississippi, three civil rights activists, two white men and one black man, on the road out of the town of Jessup suddenly disappear with a trace. Two FBI agents are sent in to the racially torn community to investigate the case: Alan Ward, in charge of the investigation is a young, clean-cut, by-the-book guy who has earned his high rank as a member of Robert Kennedy's Justice Department and Rupert Anderson a former sheriff of a small Mississippi town. When they arrive, they are received with hostility from the white locals and with fear from the black locals, who are forced to live segregated in the other side of town. As the investigation goes on, the two agents clash on what technique is best used in this situation while the violence in the town escalates even further in the presence of twenty plus FBI agents.