“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view”. This sentence summarizes the human and moral perspective of the entire movie on racism, bigotry and intolerance. The screenplay of “To kill a mockingbird” is inspired by the homonymous book, written by Harper Lee in 1960. The story tells of a man all of a piece, willing to antagonize the entire city in order to combat false biases and make justice triumph: Atticus is like that and has the opportunity to prove his integrity when he is entrusted with the defence of a young black man accused of assaulting a white girl. During the trial, the lawyer manages to prove the innocence of the accused, but the jury is set to find him guilty at any cost. In the film, in addition to the trial, we also follow the parallel adventures of Atticus’ two sons during the long summer days. The boys are attracted and at the same time frightened by the neighbours’ house, where the village voices say that a monstrous being lives. It is a film about intolerance towards the different, both in the case of the black man falsely accused of rape and in the case of Atticus’ family neighbour. It is curious to note that the different is always characterized as a dangerous individual, even if he is the most innocent being in this world. That is why Atticus explains to children that “mockingbirds don’t do anything but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat people’s gardens, don’t nest in the corncribs. They don’t do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us”. It’s not a case the children have a crucial role throughout the entire movie, they are the most innocent individuals but also the most exposed to hate and violence. The learn it from society, maybe in the family or from their neighbours. I think that one of the fundamental teachings of the film is not to teach children intolerance, bigotry and sectarian hatred and then disguise them as the values of an old morality, which after all is nothing more than the expression of a false conscience.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view”