Martin Luther King weekend has come and gone once again for the students of Eastwood High School. Many spent this day watching a movie, finishing school work, or just sleeping in. Now movie-goers have the chance to see an astonishing feat performed by the icon for whom the day is named after.
In the movie Selma, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. faces off against stalwart politicians and brutal police forces in his quest to unite the country and ensure the right to vote for all citizens. This film features an amazing cast that includes Cuba Gooding Jr. and Oprah Winfrey, and is lead by breakout star David Oyelowo. Oyelowo channels Dr. King perfectly, and compliments his co-stars effortlessly with a certain eloquence to every scene he is in. The film also includes a phenomenal soundtrack including “Glory”, the Golden Globe award winning original song by John Legend and Common.
The film begins in a dark period for the country. Despite their legal rights in the constitution, many African American citizens are being denied the right to vote. Dr. King is working with president Lyndon B. Johnson to form a new act to ensure the political freedom of all people. He determines the best place to rally supporters and promote his plans is in the small town of Selma, Alabama. But this new inspirational movement may face its end before it can even begin at the hands of violent police force, a corrupt state governor, and the vicious rage driven town citizens, who will go to any lengths to kill their cause, even if it means killing those in it.
Director Ava DuVernay beautifully captures the raw emotion swirling around that time. I could feel the fear and despair many people felt during the film and was thoroughly moved through all of it. When I left that theater I had learned so much about that time. But more than learning and being entertained, I was inspired. Rarely does a film inspire as Selma does, and is a reminder on why the Incredible Dr. King earned a holiday in his name.