The Last White Knight | Chicago Reader

The Last White Knight

78 minutes 2013

In 1965, Paul Saltzman drove from Canada to Greenwood, Mississippi, to help register black voters, and got his ass kicked outside the county courthouse by young Delay De La Beckwith (whose father, Byron, assassinated Medgar Evers). For this searching documentary Saltzman returned to Mississippi 43 years later and persuaded Delay—an unreconstructed knight of the Ku Klux Klan—to sit down and talk about the civil rights era. Not surprisingly, the old Klansman has nothing relevant to say (President Obama, it turns out, is "a direct descendant of the devil"), but the men's now-genial relationship and willingness to hear each other out are lessons in themselves. Saltzman collects thoughtful reminiscences from other veterans of the Mississippi campaign (including Harry Belafonte and Charles Evers, the slain man's brother); the movie's core, however, is a story of two men who manage to reconcile even when their beliefs are irreconcilable.

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