By Natalie Paterson
There couldn’t have been a more timely release for Selma, and it’s appropriate now more than ever. The historical drama based on the 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama was originally released at the American Film Institute Festival in 2014, but was released in theatres in January of 2015, two months before the 50th anniversary of the events portrayed in the film.
The film stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr, who is pushing for the president to make a change in the law, allowing all citizens of the United States unrestricted, equal access to vote. When he is met with pushback from the oval office, King takes his fight to Selma, Alabama, a town that is no stranger to issues with racism and limited voting rights, among other things. With his adversaries, including James Bevel (Common), Hosea Williams (Wendell Pierce) and 23 year old John Lewis (Stephan James), the audience is taken on a journey through King’s fight to secure equal voting rights for all Americans.
The film itself is stunning. I feel that it is one that everyone should see, not only because of its relevance in today’s society, but because it’s such a powerful movie. Every decision made by director Ava DuVernay in the making of this film contributed to the amazing performance we as the audience get to experience. There are scenes that are difficult to watch, but those are the more powerful, moving moments in the film. I couldn’t look away from the screen.
Selma is available for digital download now, and will be available on May 5th on DVD and Blu-Ray. The Blu-Ray offers many extra features including commentary by the director, historical newsreels and images, and a Selma Discussion Guide to name but a few.