A Time To Kill is a powerful and meaningful movie, with a plot full of judgment and hateful racial slurs. White versus black. Good versus evil. Justice and Americanism. All present in this movie. White versus black appears most predominately throughout it, taking into consideration is the hatred from each side towards one another. The director shows the issues of race in their true content in this movie.
Set in a small southern town in the 1960s, Carl Lee Hailie (Samuel L Jackson) awaits trial for murdering the two rednecks who viciously raped his 10-year-old daughter Tanya (Raeven Kelly). A young, idealistic lawyer Jake Brigantz (Matthew McConauhey) takes up Carl Lee's defense, and the case becomes a firestorm of racism and controversy, ripping the town apart.
Director Joel Schumacher introduces the issue with traditional Southern States music and a big yellow pickup truck featuring a confederate flag and the definition of Southern States white males: two rednecks with mullets, tattoos and derelict clothing, or as I like to call them "yobbo's". The director purposely gives the image of racist whites, whilst planting the ideas of hatred for the yobbo's. .
The two yobbo's image of no respect for opposite races is enhanced when Nikky Katt, A Time To Kill, (1996) offers these racial comments: "Sorry sir, we don't allow no African-American's in here." and "You go to hell nigger." The director does this by instigating a scene of a redneck bar and picturing both the yobbos as the comments are made to catch their expressions. .
The way little ten year old Tanya is portrayed is completely opposite to the way the yobbo's are. Shown to be of innocence and sincerity in such instances as when Carl Lee Hailey carries her to the ambulance, she lies helplessly in his arms, and says "Daddy, I"m sorry I dropped the groceries." Raeven Kelly, A Time To Kill (1996).Also when Tanya plays at a barbeque with Jake Brigantz's white daughter, rendering her completely oblivious to the racial issues surrounding her.