Just Mercy

Just Mercy is a film centered around themes of empathy, equity, hope, and resilience. It is a story that uplifts marginalized voices who are typically unheard, unacknowledged, or deemed undeserving of mercy in the criminal justice system. The story follows Harvard Law School graduate Bryan Stevenson’s move to Alabama where he recognizes an urgent need to provide free legal assistance to minorities who have been unfairly sentenced.


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Our curriculum guide for Just Mercy, and the film itself, pairs well with Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson’s memoir which inspired the film. Additionally, some educators pair this film and our curriculum guide or the Student Learning Guide with To Kill A Mockingbird. These resources can also be used with clips from the film or even film references rather than showing the entire film.

Film runtime: 2 hours, 16 minutes.

Film rating: PG-13. Common Sense Media rates this film as appropriate as ages 13+.

Video Librarian also has a review available for this film.

Just Mercy Curriculum Guide & Student Learning Guide

Lesson 1: The “Nadir of Black History” (U.S. History)
Lesson 2: The Case of Walter McMillian (Film Literacy, English Language Arts)
Lesson 3: A Long Path to Justice (U.S. History, U.S. Government)
Lesson 4: Wrongful Convictions in Our Justice System (U.S. Government, Civics)

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To download your free curriculum resources, simply:
1. Click “Add to Cart” (top of page). 2. Click cart icon and select “checkout”. 3. Download your PDF(s).
Related Resources
Sustainable Development Goals
Journeys in Film supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

This curriculum guide connects to the following United Nations SDGs. Learn more about teaching with SDGs: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education/sdgs/material.

Dark pink background. 10 in the left-hand corner. Reduced Inequalities beside the number. Central image on the pink background is a not quite complete circle with equal marks inside. Royal blue background with white 16 in the upper left hand corner. Text beside it, white, reads: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Central image, all white, is a dove with an olive branch in its beak, legs resting on a gavel.



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