Author: Ashley E.
The need to constantly recreate or tell the same story in film is often times questioned, especially if the film deals with an ugly past that many want to forget. It is said that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it, so how ironic is it that Selma highlights issues in the 1960’s that are still very prevalent today. The film’s release follows the widespread protests that have recently taken place in response to the domino effect of black men being killed at the hands of law enforcement officers.
Selma highlights the 1965 equal voting rights campaign that was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama. Watching the film, you couldn’t help but to get emotional and angry being reminded of what Dr. King and other individuals had to endure during their fight for equality. Owen Gleiberman wrote this statement regarding King’s decision to lead the campaign in Selma: “Hideous racist brutality isn’t what they’re seeking to avoid; it’s what they’re seeking to display.” Selma was a pivotal place to reveal to the world the ugly injustice that was being swept under the rug.
Police brutality, racism, abuse of power by law enforcement officers, and restrictions on voting laws are just some of the issues that individuals were dealing with at that time; fast forward to today and sadly we are still facing some of the same issues just hidden in different forms.
What’s sad is that we often forget how much the individuals before us had to endure in order for us to have basic rights that now we often take for granted. I thought the movie was great and well put together. David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo were perfect choices to portray Dr. King and Coretta. Carmen Ejogo had a striking resemblance to the late Coretta Scott King.
The film was nominated for “Best Picture” and “Best Song” but unfortunately the film’s director Ava DuVernay and the main actors were not nominated for their work in the film.
I do encourage everyone to go see the movie. There wasn’t a dry eye in the theater when I went.