Selma was all it was marketed to be: a brilliant and sometimes painfully honest look at the fight for the right to vote which came to a head in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Martin Luther King, Jr and Coretta Scott King were played masterfully by David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo. The supporting cast was impressive and the story felt authentic. By authentic, I mean it felt like the story was being told without any obvious hidden agenda.
No spoilers but they kept it really real. No one was all saint or all villain. Everyone was human. LBJ was not painted as a benevolent savior for the colored folk and Martin Luther King's faults, fears and foibles were on display. You winced and you sympathized and you exhaled. As for the flow of the movie, the opening scene ripped your heart out and you never really got it back because you knew what laid ahead.
The dialogue and scenery made sense for the movie and even though you knew what was going to happen, you were so embedded in the moment that things still came as a surprise, or a laugh, or a disappointment or a prayer. It's a rare movie that allows for that kind of emotional investment but Selma is just that good.
On the other hand, I have to admit that I'm thoroughly weary of seeing black folks catch a beatdown on the big screen, in real life, just generally. Sick. Of. It. There was a couple sitting behind us that said, "Wow, that scene looked just like Ferguson from a few weeks ago." Unfortunate and true. Apparently in this country, some lessons need to be learned and learned again.
The best thing about Selma is that it gives a detailed almost "behind the scenes" look at one of the pivotal moments in the Civil Rights Movement. The worst thing about Selma is that it is a stark reminder that no matter how many strides of progress have been made, we have not overcome as yet.
I walked out of the movie conflicted. Watching the movie felt like a journey. However, when the movie ended we hadn't reached our destination yet. Much as I loved the artistry of the film, it's not one I'll watch over and over again.
Have you or will you see it? Thoughts, comments, insights? Do share...