By Elijah Cabrera
Recently I went to see the film “Selma” with a good friend of mine. It was a Saturday at 8pm, a perfect time to see any movie, I figured. I was wrong.
Selma was one of the most powerful and moving films I have seen in my entire life. A modern-day depiction of the events leading up to the “Selma to Montgomery” Marches of 1965, the film focuses on Martin Luther King Jr. and the various men and women who worked closely with him in Alabama. It also focuses on King’s relationship with President Lyndon B. Johnson as the two of them negotiated the creation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The film did an excellent job of showing the multiple actors in the 1960s civil rights movement. King is almost like a secondary figure in the film, as equal treatment is given to Coretta Scott King, President Johnson, and the numerous white supporters of the movement who flocked to Alabama to march alongside King. It focuses on the struggles of ordinary men and women and does not depict King as a perfect man.
The film resonated with me so much because it could not have been released at more of an appropriate and critical time. March 7 will mark the 50th anniversary of the first “Selma to Montgomery” march. While watching the film, I was reminded of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Gardner last year and the ensuing verdicts and protests. It left me with a sense that King’s work has still yet to be finished.
A suggestion to anyone inclined to see the film in theaters: Watch it alone, or with someone with whom you are close with. Allow the film to sink in completely, as you will feel several emotions all at once.