Selma. Like myself, you may know very little about this word or the turbulent history that it signifies. Centered around the 1965 Selma voting rights marches, Selma focuses on the true story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his struggle to champion the cause of racial equality in the face of adversity.
I, unaware of this, walked into theatre two with my arms full of popcorn and my eyes wide with naïve anticipation.
Selma is an historical drama focusing on King’s aim to bring America one-step closer to racial equality using civil disobedience and peaceful resistance. His vision was simple: to see African American citizens appreciate their right to full suffrage. This film is a raw and unobstructed glimpse into the hardships faced by these individuals who wanted little more than to safeguard their rights and liberties as American citizens. The storyline is pieced together through beautiful cinematography, an excellent cast and a poignant soundtrack. The number of sniffs, sobs and tear-stained cheeks in the theatre were testament to the director’s talent.
The movie ended and I left the theatre feeling sad for those who lost their lives in paving the way for the future. Sad for an American dream marred by injustice. Sad for how little I knew of their struggle. And sad knowing that there were more people in the theatre next door watching brainless, over materialised, blue-screened garbage. Indeed, we all cherish our fair share of indulgent romantic comedies and nail-biting sci-fi, but this beautiful film is a candid reminder of a tempestuous history that is not to be forgotten – a quiet ode to peace.
And to close, almost instinctively I must quote the extremely over-quoted but painfully honest words of George Santayana, “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.