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Selma 2014 PG-13 CC

Available on Prime

From the Oscar-winning producers of 12 Years a Slave and acclaimed director Ava DuVernay comes the true story of courage and hope that changed the world forever.

Starring:
David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo
Runtime:
2 hours, 8 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Ava DuVernay
Starring David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo
Supporting actors Jim France, Trinity Simone, Mikeria Howard, Jordan Rice, Ebony Billups, Nadej k Bailey, Elijah Oliver, Oprah Winfrey, Clay Chappell, Tom Wilkinson, Giovanni Ribisi, Haviland Stillwell, André Holland, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Colman Domingo, Omar J. Dorsey, Tessa Thompson, Common
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This film is probably okay if you don't know what happened. But if you do know what happened, you can see that history was distorted - and not in a more dramatic, more Hollywood way. It was simplified so the events are easy to follow, but the changes make the story less interesting. The whole drama was reduced to a psychodrama between Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson. Almost all of the conflict between SNCC and SCLC and between Sheriff Clark and Public Safety Director Wilson Baker was deleted. These conflicts were mentioned, but not enough. It seemed as if the director knew that he had to include these conflicts, so he did include them but then got back to King.

Famous speeches were changed to make them less dramatic. Johnson's "We shall overcome" speech was changed so it lost much of its impact. King's "Now is the time" speech at the end of the march was changed so "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice" was not included. On the other hand, the beating on the bridge, on March 7, 1965, was done well. The final march to Montgomery was done well because it featured original news footage.

The film had entirely too many scenes of angst - where the actors pause and reflect on the inhumanity of it all. More action would have been more dramatic and more accurate.

The most important problem with the film is that it made Martin Luther King the main person in the Selma movement. He was important, but he was not at the center. This film will contribute to the mistaken belief that the Civil Rights Movement was King's movement.

If you want to know what happened in Selma, watch Episode 6 of Eyes of the Prize, "Bridge to Freedom."
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Hollywoodish. In the late 1960's, I worked in the National Office of SCLC. Almost everyone I knew back then is deceased, now. But not all of them. Some of these friends organized the Selma March; one of them was sent into Selma long before the March was conceived. When I watched the movie, it just did not seem to ring true. There was a kind of phoniness about it. Characters in the movie representing people I knew on a daily basis were nothing like the real deal. They were like Stepford wives ! So I made some calls. I asked my friends who had been on site way back then. Brave, brave people who had been to jail, who had been insulted, threatened, beaten. Whose lives were on the line. Field staff people.
Well, my instincts were accurate. I was merely disturbed. My sources ranged from ballistic to "I don't even want to talk about it; I'll just get upset." I guess if you've been there and done that, the Hollywood treatment just doesn't set well in the stomach.
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With my keen interest in historical and biographical dramas, the movie "Selma" was a natural for me to want to see. I recently watched it through Amazon Instant Video, and came away very impressed. "Selma" is an altogether brilliant film that features standout performances by David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr., Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper, Tessa Thompson as Diane Nash, and Andre Holland as Andrew Young, as well as many others.

"Selma," superbly directed by Ava DuVernay, tells how Martin Luther King led the African American fight to secure equal voting rights through a series of highly publicized, non-violent marches in Selma, Alabama in the early months of 1965, culminating in a 50-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. "Selma" shows how King was able to first overcome the resistance of leaders within the Civil Rights movement, as well as the opposition of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Key scenes in the film include the killing of protestor Jimmie Lee Jackson by an Alabama state trooper; the civil rights marchers' first attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery, which resulted in state and local police, using heavy riot gear, making an unprovoked attack on unarmed demonstrators at the Edmund Pettus Bridge (an event known as "Bloody Sunday"); the murder of civil rights activist James Reeb by a mob of local segregationists; and two subsequent attempts by civil rights activists to march from Selma to Montgomery.

"Selma's" historical accuracy has been the source of some controversy, mainly from the way it portrays the relationship between King and Johnson as being confrontational.
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The movie was good. It portrayed MLK for all whom he was - a real person who had talents, fears, and failings like the rest of us, which was great to see, and I do think the film should have received more accolades from the Oscars than it did. However, MLK was a calm man, and Oscars usually don't go to characters who are absent of emotional outbursts. With that said, I do think that if the film had been done with more suspense, the reservedness of his character could have been elevated to Oscar worthy status. Overall, the movie told an incredible story in a way that felt disconnected for the viewer. All of the prejudice and racial hated, both the obvious and the subtle, could have been better displayed to have more clearly showed the tremendous amount of strength that it took for MLK to lead a non-violent protest. It also wasn't clear why he turned back on that bridge on the day that he didn't lead them all the way across it. The viewer was left to guess his reasoning for that. Speaking of guessing, I wish the film had finished by showing Annie Lee Cooper (played by Oprah) from the beginning finally being able to register to vote. That would have been a great way to end the film. In sum, the writing and directing did not do justice to this incredible piece of our American history.
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