6 comments on “Selma

  1. Hoping to see this in about 10 days time, so I’m encouraged by your positive take on aspects of it. When I first saw that the cast was top-heavy with British actors in key roles I must admit to sighing with apprehension, maybe unfairly.
    Couple of days ago heard an interview with David Oyelowo who, rather alarmingly (at least for me) claimed that some years ago he heard the ‘voice of God’ telling him that he would play this role, before the concept of making this film was even being discussed. When I hear people talking like that I’m afraid that warning bells go off in my head – but there’s no doubt that he is a good actor.

    Rather strangely, this film is getting only a limited release here. I myself can only catch it at a one-off screening in a local cinema. Perhaps its being strangely ignored (relatively) at the upcoming Oscars – to which you refer – might generate a bit more attention for it and boost it at the box office.

    I’m old enough to remember Dr King as a real-life figure frequently featuring in news bulletins of the time, so that is an additional reason why I’m keen to see this, though I take your point about licence being applied on particular details, shifting places and dates for dramatic effect. A film is, after all, not attempting to be an accurate portrayal of the events as they truly occurred, a more important feature being to capture the mindset of the time and characters involved.

    Btw: Interesting where you use the phrase ‘Bloody Sunday’. To us Brits that phrase immediately conjures up a certain happening in Northern Ireland, 1972, when 14 unarmed civilians were gunned down by British troops. I’ve just googled the phrase and, unsurprisingly, it is the phrase which also refers to an event in Selma 1965, which I suppose from an American perspective on their own recent history, would be the first thing that comes to mind for them, including your own good self.

    • Thanks for your comment. Oddly enough, I was listening to a podcast in the car earlier today and they commented that today is the anniversary of the 1972 “Bloody Sunday” in Northern Ireland. Sad reality is there “Bloody Sundays” in a lot of peoples’ histories.

      I’ll look forward to reading what you think of Selma.

      • Btw, H.K., just to let you know that I’ve now got round to replying to all of your several comments on my latest and some recent blogs. I’m flattered that you spent so much of your time making your observations. i only hope that my catching up with you has done you justice.

      • Thanks for reading and commenting. I always love reading your blog. I have been away from the blogosphere for a while but, upon my return, your was among the first I wanted to catch up on

  2. I love your reviews, as they are always thoughtful and thought provoking, though I have one quibble.

    I was annoyed by the the Church bombing because I think some people will take the film as fact, and not as a depiction, or a kind of storytelling. Why not show the Birmingham bombing as the start of the film, then jump forward to Selma, or show it in flashback as events in Selma start moving?

    I understand taking license with actual people because sometimes you aren’t privy to actual conversations, but this was history being shown, not as it happened, but as a plot-line in a film.

    That kinda bugged me.

    Still, it’s a powerful film, and one that needs to be seen so we remember that time in our history.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting…and thanks for the kind words about reviews.
      Re: the church bombing, I thought it was at the beginning of the film (before the Selma events start unfolding). I could be remembering incorrectly, however, it’s been a couple weeks since I saw it.

      Your point is well taken about some people taking films as ‘History’ rather than historical drama. I’m generally not too sympathetic to that but people do it so it is fair criticism. If nothing else, the criticism might lead those folks to understand a movie is not all they need to know about something. For me, I thought it was an effective way to recreate the climate in which the events of Selma unfolded. I don’t think it distorted my understanding of what followed.

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