Culture Street

Film

Film Review: Selma

On February 12, 2015

By Sophia Whitfield

Selma is a powerful film that begins with Martin Luther King being awarded the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. The film tracks King’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for African-Americans.

David Oyelowo plays Martin Luther King as he galvanises public support for a dangerous campaign that culminates in the march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama. The film marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s iconic march.

As King plans his campaign the film moves from his home, to living rooms of friends where plans are made, to the streets of Alabama and to prison cells.

Selma is chosen strategically as the place where change can be made. It is here that we witness Oprah Winfrey’s Annie Lee Cooper declined the right to vote for not naming the 67 judges in Alabama.

Oyelowo plays a rousing King as he rallies his supporters, but also a weary King who must launch a campaign to be heard. King has many times had the counsel of Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) but Johnson refuses to make change citing other more pressing matters on his agenda.

The peace loving King endures violence and increasingly finds he needs to subdue his supporters who are struggling with the level of hatred thrust upon them.

Terrifying and gripping, Selma is a must-see biopic.

Selma is out in cinemas across Australia today.

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