‘Selma’: American History, Raw and Honest

| January 16, 2015

Historical biopics or docudramas that chronicle a period of American history where blacks are unjustly oppressed are difficult to imbibe. American period pieces involving the history of Africans and their subjugation by Anglos seem to always promise to conclude hopefully. They remind us of the sins of our fathers and remind us the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In each film the protagonist arrives at a moment of lucidity, garners courage from the depths of their beautiful soul, and rises triumphantly from the unjust oppression before culminating in the final act of “sticking it to the man.”

This often solicits rancorous cheers from moviegoers. Yet I’m often immediately discouraged because much of what is hopeful and triumphant in the film only proves to be a mirage once I leave of the theater. Somehow I leave more discouraged and sure that our world will never truly change.

But Selma is different. I left this movie hopeful.

Raw and Honest

Selma does not cower away from the physical and emotional brutality of the struggle for African American voting rights in Selma, Alabama, during a three-month period in 1965. By concentrating on this historical vignette, Selma shines. Rather than approaching this…

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