[The Box Office] Movie Review: ‘SELMA’


ABOUT ‘SELMA’ MOVIE: Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”

By: Valerie Robinson

This review is embarrassingly late, but better late than never, right? Where do I begin? Well, for starters, the ‘Selma’ movie left me in deep thought. I actually cried several times throughout the movie. It was brilliantly executed and I tip my hat to the mastermind behind it, Ava Duvernay, as well as producer Oprah Winfrey. This movie was so timely and necessary; battles are still being fought presently, which is painfully sad. I appreciate that the movie highlighted MLK’s flaws, reluctance and ability to seek counsel from strong men like Ralph Abernathy, James Orange, and Bayard Rustin in order to push the movement forward. It was not an individual effort by any means, but a TEAM effort. Before I even saw the film, MLK was a “superhero” in my head, but the movie really painted a side of him, a human side, that I never before considered.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: “It is unacceptable that they use their power to keep us voiceless. As long as I am unable to use my constitutional right to vote, I do not have command of my own life. I cannot determine my own destiny. For it is determined for me by people who would rather see me suffer than succeed. Those that have gone before us say, ‘no more! No more!’ That means protest. That means march. That means disturb the peace. That means jail. That means risk. And that is hard. We will not wait any longer. Give us the vote. We’re not asking. We’re demanding. Give us the vote!”

I was especially intrigued by the role women played in the movement and to me, that was my favorite takeaway of them all. Coretta Scott King, Mahalia Jackson, Viola Liuzzo, Amelia Boynton and Diane Nash…just to name a few. At several key turning points in the movie, the women were very much present and effective, our unsung heroes, in the Civil Rights Movement. To witness how Coretta constantly put things on the back burner in support of her husband and live her life in constant fear (her character goes into more detail of this in the movie), was heroic.

Coretta Scott King: “People actually say they’re going to kill our children. They are trying to get inside of your head.”

The women…

If you have not done so already, I encourage you to check out this thought-provoking film.