Title: Selma Director: Ava DuVernay Year: 2014 Run time: 2hrs 8m
“Selma tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for African-Americans - a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated in the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama that galvanised American public opinion and persuaded President Johnson to introduce the Voting Rights Act in 1965.”
2:57 - “…has spoken of his dream…” I mean, that’s what he’s famous for. 6:30 - Can’t believe there are forms that have a box for Race. 11:37 - Presidents do like to declare war on everything. 16:45 - Slightly distracted by a game of naming presidents. 19:45 - Dispels the myth a bit to see MLK taking out the trash. 29:30 - I wonder what it’s like going through life with such a slowwww drawllll. 35:43 - People always underestimate how valuable a weapon a handbag can be. 39:57 - It’s sort of nice to know that even amazing people like MLK need a pep talk every now and again. 43:16 - Upset about my lack of knowledge regarding Malcolm X. 50:36 - “There are no words to soothe you.” 57:04 - Why the heck would their name go in the paper? 59:04 - Mr Johnson basically just said he’s got 99 problems but… 1:03:59 - Totally get her point but she could just unplug the phone. 1:17:11 - I can’t even… 1:19:06 - “We have to win another way.” 1:25:12 - That reporter seems nice. Words I never thought I’d say. 1:36:06 - That’s so symbolic. The president calling one dead person’s family but not the other. 1:40:48 - “I don’t think we remember it the same way.” 1:49:47 - I am sposed to take the speeches seriously, but those TVs!
Another film that delves into the history of black and white America, Selma felt like a solid but unspectacular addition to the pile. There seem to have been a lot of films like this recently, and this one was certainly very good but it didn’t stand out particularly.
It won’t be a surprise to know my knowledge of MLK was limited, so I learnt plenty and I thought all the acting was great - even Oprah! Having the guy from the Full Monty play the president didn’t quite work for me, but he did a good job and it was a strong cast.
It wasn’t quite the film I was expecting, I thought it might be the story of his life, but instead it focused on the specific Selma incidents, a city that made a huge difference in the fight towards equality. There were some tough times though. The scene on the bridge was horrifying, something that does make you think about how much times have changed and yet how they stay the same. People being attacked for doing nothing other than existing.