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Friday, January 9, 2015

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Reviewed by: Ed Coke

Living in the 21st century is amazing, there is so much useful technology and an almost completely connected global community. Not quite the same level of progress Marty Mcfly and “Doc” Brown encountered when the DeLorean showed up in the year 2015, but we’ve still come along way from the late 1980s when the Back To The Future sequel dropped. Although real hoverboards are starting to show up on the market, and Nike is actually planning a self-lacing sneaker this year, there’s plenty of other areas where the world has fallen short on it’s potential. Aside from drastic climate change issues and a never ending march of war profiteering, basic human rights in even the most developed of nations continues to be lacking.

Selma is a new film that looks back on the not-too-distant era of the 1960s in America when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had won the Nobel Peace Prize and was still passionately leading the civil rights movement. The name of the movie is taken from the small Alabama town where Dr. King chose to begin a series of demonstrations and marches that would highlight to the US government, and the world, how even though legislation had been passed guaranteeing certain human rights, widespread violent discrimination was still prevalent in the south.

Starring David Oyelowo (Lincoln; The Butler) in a masterful portrayal of Dr. King, and directed by the acclaimed Ava DuVernay, Selma takes the viewer on an unbelievably realistic journey into the heart-breaking reality that so many endured. Although dealing with such sinister and painful subject matter, the picture allows for an inspiring glimpse at what can be accomplished when a dedicated few fight endlessly for the greater good. Aided by a stellar supporting cast and an exceptional soundtrack composed by jazz mainstay Jason Moran in his first cinematic outing, Selma stands out as one of the years most powerful productions. In a time when celebrity gossip and pointless distractions overflow the headlines and mind-frames, yet racial inequality and social injustices still remain, a movie like Selma couldn’t be more important and relevant. I’m certain it will gain praise from critics and award shows alike, however I hope the movie becomes a commercial success as well… and perhaps even mandatory viewing in public schools. It’s hard to imagine that the events depicted took place less than a few generations ago, all the more reason that it’s not to be missed and will hopefully act as a catalyst for change.

Selma is a gripping and unwavering film that honours the legacy and actions of an extraordinary group who laid the foundation of a better life for all.

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