Director Ava DuVernay has successfully captured the mood of all parties directly affected by the stirrings happening in Selma. David Oyelowo gives a stirring performance as Dr. King, and Tom Wilkinson is quite capable as LBJ. It is easy to feel the reverberations when these two powerful, intelligent men clashed over when and how to give African Americans unimpeded access to the vote while people were beaten and murdered in the streets by angry rednecks.
In a time now where protesting has become much more common, and the people of this country are divided over many issues, a film like this is deeply important, because it reminds us of just how we can come together and overcome the ingrained problems of this country to forge a better future. Segregation and racism was so rooted in the south then, and it is truly not that much better now, but intelligent people stood together, made plans, and stuck to their guns. It is a road map for all who wish to evoke social change in this country, and it is a remarkable achievement in film to give us such an unfiltered look into how it all went down.
We've come a long way, but still have so far to go.
Selma is beautifully shot with cinematography that lets in the scenery. Ava Duvernay directs Selma with passion to show pain, intellect, and unity among the black community during the 1960's Civil Rights Movement. America could use this brilliantly written film now more than ever. Racial politics are a part of the daily conversation still, so it would behoove you to educate and inform yourself on the most notable Civil Rights leaders. A fun and entertaining way to learn about this important time period in modern American history would be to just watch Ava Duvernay's Selma & Spike Lee's Malcolm X.
While Selma is not a full biopic on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it does rise to the challenge of communicating the issue of black voting rights and how their rights as humans were denied to them by government law and prevented change by the racist South. Duvernay takes her time crafting the context and setting for these events. She establishes the major figures, then dives into the deeply emotional and difficult obstacles that King had to overcome.
Strong acting performances from David Oyelowo as King as well as the stand out performance from the young actor portraying Congressman John Lewis. I enjoyed the whole cast, who all play their part with conviction and passion. They are subtle in their choices and deeply engaging. Selma is a rare gem is historical cinema as it is both entertaining and educational. I was really moved by this film. It plays on the reality of the situation, so as not to force contrived emotions, but rather build up your empathy from the violence and danger of the situation.
I highly recommend Ava Duvernay's Selma.