Friday, February 20, 2015

A Review of Selma

The film “Selma,” portraying the historic march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, AL in 1965, is a gut-wrenching experience that brings the viewer into the vehemence of the prejudice and the stunning courage of its resistors in this intense critical moment in the history of racism in America – and of nonviolence in the world.  The acting ranges from very good to superb (more on that in a moment).--
I've been dying to see Selma ever since I saw the previews.  I finally had the chance to see it tonight, and it surpassed my expectations, which were high.  I am torn now on whether I want American Sniper, or Selma to win the Academy Award on Sunday for best picture.

While watching the film, I took 10 pages of notes.  I have been studying the Civil Rights Movement lately, so I was familiar with a lot of the events that took place in the movie.

The movie showed many important events leading up to the Selma march, although not necessarily in order of when they occurred:
--King accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14th, 1964
--The 16th Street Baptist church bombing where 4 girls were killed on September 15th, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama
--Annie Lee Cooper attempting to register to vote in Alabama in 1963
--The murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson on February 18th, 1965 during a peaceful protest by a state trooper
--The murder of a white minister, Reverend Reeb on March 11, 1965 who had answered King's call for clergy to join the non-violent movement.
I thought the actors that were picked for this movie all did an amazing job of portraying the men and women who were involved in the civil rights movement one way or another.

While there is some criticism of how President Johnson was portrayed, I thought he came across the way I would've imagined, from what I know of Johnson.  That said, I will be doing more research on how accurate the portrayal was.
I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Selma is not a documentary, but as a whole, you can learn a lot about history from watching it.  It was so well done, and gives you a snapshot into the civil rights movement as a whole.


I teared up at the end when they showed footage of the actual Selma march.  It is a dark part of our history that it took so many deaths in order to bring about equality for all men and women.  Race relations are far from perfect today, but for the most part, as Martin Luther King, Jr. foresaw, we have overcome. 

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