A Gathering of Old Men is a 1987 American television drama film directed by Volker Schlöndorff and based on the novel of the same name. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival.
A black farm worker shoots back and kills the angry farmer who chased him with a tractor to the house of an old black man who owned a shotgun and gave it to the chased man for defense. Only when the angry farmer dismounted his tractor and entered the yard and raised his 12 gauge shotgun to kill the worker did he then take the old man’s gun to defend himself.
One afternoon, a white woman, Candy, discovers that a Cajun farmer, Beau Boutan, has been shot in Mathu’s, a black man, yard. She enlists the help of seventeen other old black men by having them come to Mathu’s yard, each with a shotgun and one empty number 5 shell. She and the men all claim to be responsible for the murder, in an effort to protect the guilty party. Meanwhile, the Sheriff Mapes arrives to the scene to arrest the real murderer(most likely Mathu, as he was the only black man who stood up against racism and the Boutans.) The Sherriff also wishes to keep Beau’s father, Fix Boutan, from coming to lynch the blacks.
The movie tells a story of equality for all through the righteous use of gun owners asserting their rights to self defense against ‘the man’.
Available on Netflix.