Film Review: ‘Selma’ a Powerful Reminder that History Does Repeat

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – With exquisite timing, the historical docudrama “Selma” will ring in 2015, and adds to the race-oppression-in-America debate that everything old is new again. Set in 1965, it is the courageous story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the ordinary citizens that fought for the right to vote. Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

The events unfold calmly and forthrightly in the film, as Dr. King and his divided civil rights movement start another journey, to assure voting rights for the African American citizens of Alabama in the town of Selma, denied to them by a segregationist government and supporting citizens (including the police). It is an emotional and human film, highlighting the titanic struggle of Dr. King, the African American citizens of Alabama (who braved beatings and murder), and a United States government and judiciary bent not on necessarily doing the right thing, but the most politically expedient thing. As we come back to our current debate regarding Ferguson, Cleveland, New York and other areas of this country, we ask again “are we truly equal, and aren’t all persons created that way?”

In 1965, the city of Selma, Alabama, is still denying voting rights to black citizens, as represented by a elaborate test given to Annie Lee Cooper (Oprah Winfrey) that she can’t possible pass. Local civil rights activists begin counter protests to the denials, and controversially call in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo), two years after his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Dr, King is getting push back from student leaders and others, bent on more direct confrontation than his non-violent resistance. King’s presence in Selma is immediately seen a threat to both Governor George C. Wallace (Tim Roth) and the political maneuverings of President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson). When King and the Alabama voting rights supporters attempt three different crossings of the Edward Pettis bridge in Selma, to march to the State Capitol, three historic confrontations of the civil rights movement occur.

“Selma” has a limited release in Chicago on January 1st, 2015, and opens everywhere on January 9th. Featuring David Oyelowo, Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Roth, Cuba Gooding Jr., Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo, Common, Martin Sheen and Wendell Pierce. Written by Paul Webb. Directed by Ava DuVernay. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Selma”

David Oyelowo
Truth Keeps Marching: David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (center) in ‘Selma’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Selma”

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • Little Women: The Musical

    CHICAGO – The story of “Little Women,” by Louisa May Alcott, has been an American institution since its publication in 1869. The story of four girls-to-little-women during the American Civil War, with their indomitable mother holding down the household while their father is away in the war, was a perfect candidate to become a Broadway musical. The Brown Paper Box Co. (BPBCo) is currently presenting a brilliant adaptation of that musical for the storefront stage, and its emotion, music craft and energy is nothing sort of a triumph… this small theater company that could does it again. The show has various evening/matinee performances at the The Strawdog Theatre in Chicago through February 9th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Deadbeat2

    CHICAGO – Not many web series start out as music videos, but the new online (YouTube) drama “Deadbeat 2” was just that. Created, written and directed by Danny Froze, the made-in-Chicago story recently premiered episodes five and six in the series, which features actor Kiwaun Stoutmire in the lead role of Ronnie.

Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions