53rd Annual Chicago International Film Festival underway

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The Chicago International Film Festival opened Thursday with the premier of the film, "Marshall," which is already getting great reviews. (WLS)

The Chicago International Film Festival opened Thursday with the premier of the film, "Marshall," which is already getting great reviews.

The film focuses on Thurgood Marshall's life, particularly before he was the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, when he was a lawyer winning landmark cases. Chadwick Boseman portrays the young future justice.

Fifty years ago this month, in 1967, Marshall took his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court bench.

"Maybe it's history, but it doesn't feel like you're watching history...it's funny, you cry you get upset, you laugh again, so you feel the whole myriad of emotions that you share when you see a good movie," said Boseman.

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The 53rd Chicago International Film Festival opened Thursday night, premiering the new movie, "Marshall."



Recent Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown is the defendant Marshall fights for, accused by his white employer of rape and attempted murder. Marshall is brought in to defend him without being able to address the court, only a white lawyer can.

"I knew about Brown vs. The Board of Education, I knew he was the first black Supreme Court Justice but I knew nothing about this trial and I knew nothing of the fact that he was the first and only African American lawyer for the NAACP at the time of this case," said Brown.

Jussie Smollett portrays writer Langston Hughes who was a friend of Marshall.

"I think it's very inspiring to always hear about the accomplishments of the man, but to see the climb to those accomplishments is really very exciting," said Smollett.

Marshall's director said the film isn't just a biopic.

"It's a 'who done it?' Here's the thing, yeah, it's the story about a great man and you're going to learn about that but really, it's the weekend, you want to make sure you pick a good fun date movie," said Reginald Hudland.

Marshall is now open in theaters.

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