‘Selma’ Review


Gabrielle Harris, Editor-in-Chief

From Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Selma captured the hardships of emotions of what it was like to be an African American trying to gain equal rights during the 1960s. With top listed producers such as Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey the movie gained enormous amounts of recognition from various critics and award shows.

The movie gave only a small portion of how life was really like during this unsettling time. From poll taxes to incessant questioning to even getting the slightest possibility of voting. Selma truly gave viewers the opportunity to think and open their eyes as to what injustice was going on and how difficult it was to be looked as a human being. Oprah Winfrey started out the movie by attempting to register to vote but was rejected once again because she was unable to answer all questions from the voting office. Although it was legal for African Americans to vote during this time, voting offices made it almost impossible for them to participate in voting process.

One of the opening scenes, that took many by surprise, showed the tragic murder of four little girls in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing by white supremacists. This emotional scene started off the film to one of Martin Luther King’s, portrayed by David Oyelowo, speeches that rallied up the non-violent black protestors. The movie also included Malcolm X, portrayed by Nigel Thatch, for a short period of time, illustrating how he and MLK were not the best of friends but agreed on particular issues months leading to Malcolm X’s assassination.

The many failed march attempts showed much of the frustration that the protestors went through and lives that were lost and thousands injured with no justice gained. The film had almost almost no barriers when it came to showing the viewers at home what really happened. Both graphic and heart breaking scenes occurred on multiple occasions, to even a possible infidelity between Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta King. Selma also had heartwarming moments showing how people from all across the globe came to march with MLK and the rest of the justice fighters. Although some of the people that came from other parts of the world weren’t all African American, many of them still unfortunately were seen as enemies from white supremacists.

Selma had many violent scenes, which wasn’t necessarily shocking, as it was mainly taking place in Alabama, probably one of the most racist states during the 1960s. Actor Tom Wilkinson, who played Lyndon B. Johnson had his share of disagreements with King, which was extremely stressful to deal with the blindness as to what was actually going on. Finally, in the end of the film Johnson decides on creating legislation for equal rights with MLK by his side.

Selma gathered up four Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture—Drama, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Song. The film also was nominated for two awards for the 2015 Oscars Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Song for “Glory”. The movie won Best Original Song in both award shows.

Overall, Selma gave this generation great insight on how life was in the 1960s through the eyes of the African Americans that were in Selma, Alabama. The movie could not have came at a more appropriate time, alluding to the movements that are still occurring to this day about injustice in the world.