Selma tells one of the central stories of the Civil Rights movement in the USA. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition in Alabama. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson, played by Tom Wilkinson, signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, David Oyelowo, and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history. The portrayal of King is complex; it contrasts the moral triumph of King’s crusade for civil rights with the agony of his marital infidelities. There are lots of closeups of Oyelowo’s face and it is full of conflict. It is worth staying on for the closing titles to hear the winner of the Oscar for Best Original Song, Glory by Common and John Legend.
David Oyelowo famously did not receive an Oscar nomination for his astonishing portrayal of Martin Luther King but the film did receive a nomination and Oleweyo won Best Actor from the African-American Film Critics Association. Ava DuVernay was one of the few black and even fewer female directors, or other film makers, to be recognised at the Oscars.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall