by Vincenza Belletti

Selma is a historical movie documenting the 1965 voting rights marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. This movie highlights the struggles faced by African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement and demonstrates the brutality shown to them by racist southern whites.

The release date of the movie coincided not only with Martin Luther King Jr. day and the start of black history month, but with the Civil Rights Movements currently rekindling across the nation. This is due to the racial profiling and police brutality that have come to light due to the lack of indictment in the Michael Brown case.

Selma was spectacularly done by director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo portrayed King amazingly. Tim Roth did a particularly fantastic job playing Governor George Wallace, who strongly supported segregation and opposed Kings marches. Oprah Winfrey’s performance was not as great as the general public made it out to be and her role was not very important to the story as a whole. During the fight scenes, the camera work was fairly shaky, making it difficult to watch, though it was steady for the majority of the film.

DuVernay received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director. Oyelowo received a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama. Even though you think you know what is going to happen, you are still filled with a sense of shock as the events unfold on the screen.

selma pic
Oyelowo received the award for NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. A.P. Images

It was not entirely historically accurate but was slightly changed in order to be seen by younger audiences, something difficult to do while still maintaining the severity of the issue. For example, they largely downplayed King’s affair and his wife’s confrontation. Lyndon B. Johnson was also portrayed as being unfriendly with King and unsupportive of the Selma march, when in reality it was Johnson’s idea and he considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement. It was also slightly inaccurate due to the copyrights on Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quotes and speeches, which are owned by DreamWorks and Warner Bros.

I recommend this movie to everyone, as it is a fantastic but still educational film. Each scene captivated me and kept my eyes glued to the screen. This film will be remembered for a long time.