This movie is a touching character study of 2 children, Jem & his sister, Scout, growing up in a sleepy southern town in the late '30's and, through their eyes, a reflection of that racially-divided era. Jem & Scout are astute observers of their father, Atticus Finch, a brilliant lawyer tasked with the hopeless case of defending a black man charged with raping a white woman. The children watch as the townsfolk galvanize around racial lines over this & even help their father defuse an ugly situation at one point. The true heart of this film, however, is the undercurrent of fear/awe surrounding another character in town named Boo Radley, never seen, but often heard in the background of their lives. They scare themselves silly with stories of him coming out at night to prowl & look in windows, yet have a connection with him that they themselves do not fully understand, until the final climactic act, when the soul behind the character comes forth in a way that will impact them forever.