So, I have gone to see the movie “Selma.” And I thought the movie was moving and rewarding. After watching the two-hour film, I can not see why the Oscars did not give out more nominations for Selma. This movie is something every Alabamian should see, and I am going to more details below. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t read below! SPOILER ALERT!
The first 15 minutes of Selma starts off very powerful. Seeing Dr. King win the Nobel Peace Prize, in a country where people don’t care about the color of a person’s skin was great to see. But, in 1960’s Alabama, you were quickly reminded of the major problems here. You see a scene of the four black girls being blown up at the 16th Street Baptist Church. The blow up scene was kind of graphic. Then you see Annie Lee Cooper trying to register to vote. But the whites in Alabama do anything possible to deny the black vote. I mean, name all 67 county judges, who knows all of them? Of course, Annie was denied the right to vote.
In the movie, I thought president Johnson was a jerk! I mean, we all know the War on Poverty did not work. And getting people out of poverty would not get more blacks to register to vote. Dr. King kept forcing the issue on Johnson, he wanted federal legislation to allow blacks the right to vote unencumbered, without things like poll taxes or literacy tests. What he got instead, was the FBI monitoring him, and white people punching and kicking him in Selma. And what J. Edgar Hoover suggested, trying to break up Dr. King with his wife, man the federal government did not care about anything! But that would soon change!
Dr. King got many people to join him and go down to the Selma courthouse to register to vote. But of course, the police was there trying to stop the voting attempt. Yes, things like telling the Negro’s to go home because there was too many of them was a real thing in Alabama. And seeing the white police officers beat down a black person for no real good reason, that also happened in 1960’s Alabama. Sadly, everyone in the group was arrested and thrown in jail. And while Dr. King was in jail, Governor Wallace was holding these rude speeches telling everyone that he won’t allow any marches and the black people should just stay home, he was rude!
Even though Dr. King and the protesters are struggling to get their voice across, they keep trying! The scene where the Alabama State Troopers broke up a nighttime demonstration, was extreme! And no, trying to hide in a restaurant did not help things. Soon, the troopers abuse innocent people, and shoot dead a black person. Who cares which white person did it, the blacks are second class citizens in 1960’s Alabama. Then, the defying event comes, the first march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge which became Bloody Sunday. The movie did a good job depicting the violent scenes, and boy was it violent.
The big difference was Bloody Sunday was shown on TV and was in the media. The movie did a great job showing scenes of people seeing the footage on TV, including President Johnson. And no, Wallace and King are not going to agree on anything, no matter how much you want them Johnson. The second march across the bridge was only halfway. As King and the protesters kneeled down, then walked back. Only because they wanted a judge’s order to march with no harassment from police or white people. And only when several white supporters are beatened and murdered, is when President Johnson has the backbone to introduce the Voting Rights Act.
The final parts of the movie was great! Seeing the judge approve the march. Seeing people of all race colors celebrate and get ready for the march. Seeing Dr. King’s speech in Montgomery. And seeing the historic footage of the march, and how ugly the white people were, I saw that middle finger! Thankfully the National Guard made sure nothing bad happened during the march! As for the final credits, you get to see some photos during production, and they were some good photos!
So, I thought the performance of David Oyelowo as Dr. King was outstanding! He should have been nominated for an Oscar! Tom Wilkinson played a good Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth played a good George Wallace. And yes, the movie made sure it got plenty of shots of Oprah Winfrey playing Annie Lee Cooper. Selma played the major moment in American history extremely well, despite the few flaws in the movie. This movie demonstrates the fight for racial equality, which is still a problem even in Alabama today. A good example was the bills that discriminated against Latino Americans, even if they are legal in America.
I think Selma should be a movie everyone in Alabama must see! It would remind those who are against the rights of people of what would happen if you screw people around. And for those who are for the rights of everyone, it would remind those that keeping the fight up will eventually result in change! Dr. King’s message has never been more relevant, and you will feel inspired after seeing Selma. From the dark moments in the film, to the right things being done at the end, you will feel happier after seeing Selma. And maybe it will give you something to think about? Go see Selma, you won’t regret it!
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