Selma (2014) David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Giovanni Ribisi, Andre Holland, Oprah Winfrey Movie Review

Selma (2014)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Selma (2014)

The March to Montgomery

The acclaimed film Selma tells the gripping and moving true story of the pivotal moment in Dr Martin Luther King Jr?s epic civil rights struggle - the 1965 protest march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to secure voting rights for African-Americans.

Those who frequent The Movie Scene know that I prefer to write the synopsis for my reviews myself but some times I feel that despite having watched a movie I lack the knowledge to do so correctly. This is one of the cases because as a Brit who wasn't born until the start of the 70s my knowledge of the events in this movie are sparse so rather than write something factually inaccurate when it comes to the events in this movie I have chosen to use the standard synopsis.

But my lack of civil rights knowledge is actually important when it comes to the movie "Selma" as whilst I did finish the movie having learned some things I also found it at times a struggle. During the first half I felt like this was very much a movie made for those who know their civil rights history. But by the second half I had gained enough to get a grip on what was going on. As such if you find yourself considering watching "Selma" knowing that you don't have the greatest knowledge of the civil rights movement be prepared for a bit of a slog at times.

Yet whilst there are times I struggled with "Selma" it still ended up an incredibly powerful movie and not just because of it being hard hitting when showing the violence dished out to not just the African Americans who marched but also to those who supported them. Whilst this movie isn't about recreating the violence the power of the violent scenes are a part of what makes this movie work and helps to tell the story. But that story also is about other things from Martin Luther King's interactions with the President to the pressure place on his relationship with Coretta, the dirty tricks used against him but also his determination to lead a non violent march even when his decisions didn't always sit comfortably with those he was leading.

What this all boils down to is that "Selma" is a power movie which does a good job of dramatizing a period in American civil rights history. But whilst it is undeniably powerful and educational it is for me a movie for those with existing knowledge of the events dramatized in the movie because without the knowledge it is at times hard work.