Saturday, 7 February 2015

SELMA

A chronicle of Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. -- IMDB

The word 'chronicle' in the IMDB description is apt for this overlong drama. While I learned a lot about the incidents surrounding the Selma campaign, it was a mostly dry telling of the story. It is as though we are somewhat distanced from the events with rare moments of emotional engagement.  It doesn't seem "raw" enough or tense enough. Apparently the real people of Selma had to struggle with rain, mud and hardship during the marches. None of this is portrayed in the movie. The narrative unfolds chronologically and "objectively". Not enough is really explored about King's relationship with his wife, although there are tantalising hints. But it's all a bit too simple. David Oyelowo does an excellent job of reincarnating King with a few inspiring oratory moments - he is probably the best reason for seeing the movie. Overall, it's a pretty average retelling of a very significant story. The most disturbing thing is how recent this history is and how far there is to go in furthering the ideals King promoted.


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