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Friday, May 24, 2024

Perfect timing for ‘Selma’ release

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After arriving at the Keystone Art Cinema at Keystone at the Crossing last Sunday to see the highly anticipated film “Selma,” I found myself the only African-American in the audience. The film, which was released in select cities Christmas Day and in all theaters Jan. 9, provokes a great deal of emotion. I expected greatness and wasn’t disappointed. I can say with sincerity that it was one of the most powerful movies I’ve seen in years.

The film opens up with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (portrayed by David Oyelowo) accepting his Nobel Peace Prize and rapidly moves on to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. This film’s approach is different from other biopics. Most productions that feature high-profile individuals tell the story of an individual’s entire life. “Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay, concentrates on one significant issue vital to the development of African-Americans – Voting.

It also illustrates community issues still relevant today, including police brutality and protests. I rarely become emotional over a film, but while watching “Selma” several times my heart rate spiked. Repeatedly, tears sprang to my eyes and my body sat frozen in time as I witnessed the profound struggles African-Americans faced. “Selma” angered me, made me emotional and most of all proud. Many times, I couldn’t digest my emotions in a critical manner because I was extremely provoked by the film.

The film is well cast, and the actors physically resemble these historical characters. Oyelowo truly became his character along with Carmen Ejogo who plays Coretta Scott King. People are familiar with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, yet remain unaware of his personality. “Selma” displays King’s character. It’s also noteworthy that DuVernay is the first African-American female to be nominated for a Best Director Golden Globe Award. She is also nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Director and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture.

The film left me swept by gratification and very proud to be an African-American. The film highlights that after many struggles, we as a race can continuously rise to the occasion. I hope all people support this film, especially young people. This is a production to help African-Americans reflect on their past, prepare for their future and couldn’t have been released at a better time, more important time in our history.

“Selma” awards

  • Nominated for Golden Globes Best Motion Picture
  • Nominated for Golden Globes Best Actor in Motion Picture (David Oyelowo)
  • Nominated for Golden Globes Best Director (Ava DuVernay, first African-American female)
  • Satellite Award for Best Director (Ava DuVernay)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Ava DuVernay)
  • Musicians John Legend and Common won Best Original Song for “Glory,” a musical piece written for “Selma” at the 2015 Golden Globes.

MLK Day Free activities:

  • Indianapolis Zoo: Minimum of one canned good donation per person is required for Gleaner’s Food Bank.
  • Indiana State Museum: Museum and IMAX showing of “Island of Lemurs.”
  • Rhythm Discovery Center: Jazz presentation by the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation, including guitarist Steven Weakley.
  • NCAA Hall of Champions: Minimum of one canned good donation per person is required for Gleaner’s Food Bank.
  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: Special activities, storytelling and performances.
  • Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art: Minimum of one canned good donation per person is required for Gleaner’s Food Bank.
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