With the piercing lens on civil rights seemingly at its height yet again some 50 years later, the release of ‘Selma’ – a film depicting the historic Martin Luther King Jr.-led voting-rights march from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol of Montgomery in 1965, couldn’t come at a more opportune time.
That Grape Juice was privy to an advanced screening of the Ava Duvernay film and now offer to you, courtesy of our resident editor Richard Pittman, a review of the movie that we can tell in earnest will be done a great disservice if not decorated with the award golds it so rightly deserves.
It all awaits below:
‘Selma’ is the riveting account of the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act, barring discrimination at the polls. Almost visually overwhelming at times, this biopic casts the iconic Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) as a three dimensional human being while capturing the significance of his contributions with no loss to over-dramatization or the “super-hero” complex oft found in earlier depictions of his character in various films. Another notable attribute of the historical affair was the honor bestowed to the story of his wife, Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo), and other noted women of the Civil Rights movement by spotlighting their voices so oft unheard. Director Ava DuVernay, with the help of Oprah Winfrey (who also makes an appearance in the film as rejected Selma voter “Alice Cooper”), brings to life the tales of everyday people who participated in the struggle to change their present and future world.
‘Selma’ acts as a gripping time warp of sorts, simultaneously educating its audience on the civil rights struggle while painting a picture that the distance of time from then to now is not nearly as far as it seems. Thrusting viewers into images of the bitter past while almost projecting a hologram of today, the tenor resonance of current protests igniting throughout the US for the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner echo the sentiment that ‘Selma’ was “just yesterday.”
Honestly, it was “just yesterday.”
All in all, this movie shines as a “must see” for anyone with any inkling of social awareness, especially if you’ve found hashtags like #blacklivesmatter lining your social media profiles.