FILM REVIEW: SELMA: 3 Things the movie accomplishes


Recently thousands across the nation took to the streets to march on behalf of black lives that have been lost in confrontations with law enforcement. This practice, a non-violent tactic, used by Martin Luther King Jr. served a purpose during the Civil Rights movement that moved a community forward. Director Ava DuVernay and screenwriter Paul Webb aim to preserve this legacy through the movie Selma, a historical and inspirational account of 1965 protests led by Dr.King in Selma, Alabama which helped pass the Voting Rights Act.

Many remember Dr.King as someone who gave an incredible speech about dreams, someone who believed in peace and stood by his beliefs so much that they cost him his life, but Selma serves as a reminder for older and new generations of the stakes that were involved in the rights that we often take for granted as a community. Selma arrives just in time for a moment in which there is social unrest in the community through the movement #blacklivesmatter which in some events has met violence with violence, causing an eye for an eye to spread sorrow across different communities.

If you have a chance to get out this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend check out this film which pays homage to a story of triumph that successfully accomplishes the following 3 things:

1) It reminds us that there were soldiers and lives lost behind our right to vote – Selma tells the story of those who lost their lives so that African-American members of the community could achieve the right to vote. My words cannot do it justice, you have to see it for yourself. This movie brilliantly explains how hard it used to be to vote, the lengths people went to in order to establish change and the importance of not taking this right for granted.

DESIGN TIP(1)2) It sets a peaceful tone during the #blacklivesmatter movement – It reminds all generations of the effectiveness, power and dignity behind a peaceful protest. The historical accounts in the movie show how people of black, white, and all socio-economic backgrounds were united in their efforts to get the Voting Rights Act passed.

3) It is a lesson in the Civil Rights movement – The film is both inspiring and educational. It showcases a movement within the movement that appears to be forgotten. Be sure to stay for the end of the film to learn the course the lives took of key characters in the film. Students in grades 7-9 can show a student ID or report card at box offices in select cities to watch the movie for free. To get more details visit:
Members of the cast include David Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lorraine Toussaint, Tim Roth and more. Despite the exceptional performance by members of the cast and praises for the crew behind this film, there was a bit of outrage trending (#OscarsSoWhite) after the movie only received two Oscar nominations and won for best original song, “Glory,” by Common and John Legend. Some were arguing that Hollywood has a race problem. The movie’s depiction of president Lyndon B. Johnson also received harsh criticism.

I leave it up to you to decide and I invite you to let me know in the comments below what you thought about this film.

Melissa Lambarena
UCLA Alumna, blogger, writer, vlogger. Escritora y bloguera sobre temas que afectan a nuestra comunidad