“A Dark Day in History shines on the Big Screen”
Joining Mr Grey in Australian cinemas this week is a darker film, so dark in fact, it’s Black.
Selma is the story of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and his followers mission to march from the Alabama town of Selma to nearby Montgomery some 50 miles away in 1965.
Set against the backdrop of the struggle for civil rights and King’s insistence on campaigning for the African American population’s right to vote, this is an incredible film based on real life events.
It’s nominated for Best Picture in the 2015 Academy Awards, in spite of the fact that it has come under fire for alleged historical inaccuracies concerning President Lyndon B Johnson and his level of enthusiasm for backing King in his quest for civil rights.
This is a top shelf film full of powerhouse performances, and inexplicably none of the actors are nominated for an Academy Award. Also missing from the nominations list is African American Director Ava DuVernay who seemed to bear the brunt of the fall-out for the alleged inaccuracies.
Writing for Forbes Magazine, Scott Mendelson is of the opinion that not only is Selma one of the best films of 2014, but that DuVernay is the one who stands the most to lose by not securing a Best Director nomination.
The fantastic David Oyelowo shines as Martin Luther King, and should also have scored a nomination. Tom Wilkinson is brilliant as LBJ, as are Tim Roth and Martin Sheen, but it’s the black faces including The Wire’s Wendell Pierce, Common,Cuba Gooding Jr. and Oprah Winfrey who make this film sing.
The attitude of many of the white population of Selma is perhaps the most inexcusable aspect of this slice of mid 20th Century history, and it’s a painful reminder of how far we have to go as a society in regards to tolerance, equality, respect and compassion for one another.
Another element that stands out is the underlying faith in a higher power that enabled the brave people of this movement to lay down their lives for what they believed in.
You must see this film.
4 & 1/2 Stars.