“Selma” is a historical drama directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It has an ensemble cast starring David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo, Giovanni Ribisi, Alessandro Nivola, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tim Roth, and Oprah Winfrey. The movie is based on the 1965 Voting Right Marches from Selma to Montgomery which were the initiated and directed by James Bevel. This film goes into many of the details of why these Civil Rights marches happened, and everyone that was apart of making them come about as well as those trying to stop them. This movie is a virtual roll call of all the Civil Rights leaders of the 1960s including Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, John Lewis, Hosea Williams, James Bevel, Malcom X, Ralph Abernathy and many more. The scope of this film is sweeping.
This movie has the best sequence about bravery I have ever scene. The film shows us a group of non-violent protesters that are about to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge and are met by state troopers. The troopers order the marchers to stay on their side of the bridge. The law enforcement officers attack with tear gas, clubs, and other weapons. These demonstrators try to hold their ground peacefully, but in the end many of the unarmed people were severely injured. The African American protesters understood that the possibility of extreme force was going to be used and they kept walking peacefully and took the higher moral road. I am in awe of the bravery that took. The attack was shown on National Television and more Americans got to see those in power taking the moral low road to confront these non-violent protesters.
The film critics loved this film. It got some criticism for taking liberties with historical accuracy. The film reminds us of the ideals of King and all the leaders of that era and shows us how far we still are away from them. The film was nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Best Picture and Best Original Song. It won for Best Original Song.
The Beer Lover’s Guide to the Movies suggests not drinking when you watch this film. You do not want anything to numb you to the experiences shown. You should watch it with others. Watch it with your family, start a Watch Party, share it with those that are on the line with you currently protesting with. You should then talk about what needs to happen to get us closer to those ideals of those Civil Rights leaders.