Movie Spotlight: Selma

If you haven’t had the fortune of seeing this film yet, you’re missing out. Personally, I regret not being able to view the movie until last night.

Selma is sensational on all accounts. Acting, film-scoring, screenplay, content, message. Each of these categories and more deliver a worthy tribute to the countless lives whose blood, sweat and tears helped paved the way in the Civil Rights Movement thus far.

Here are a few specifics that I enjoyed about the movie:

  • Their faith. While this film and the Civil Rights Movement was not a Christian movement per se, it was rooted in and led by men and women who were devout followers of Jesus. We see moments where Dr. King was encouraged by close friends with passages from the bible as well as numerous speeches where Martin exhorts people with words from scripture.
  • Their doubt. I knew Martin Luther King Jr. was human but for some reason, this never translated to the way I understood what he and his family endured. The constant death threats, the tension it caused within their family and the doubt it casted over their own hearts and minds.
  • Their pain. While the film is only PG-13, they were still able to portray much pain and suffering in a raw and powerful manner. Multiple times was I led to tears of sorrow as well as of gratitude because of how well we as an audience were drawn into the community’s burdens. On numerous occasions, I became infuriated by and in shock of what was being portrayed before my eyes.
  • Their message. This was not a black problem nor was it a southern problem but it was an American, and even more so, it was a human problem. The march to Selma helped highlight the still present prejudice and injustices inflicted upon people of color. While unfortunately the war is not over, this battle and its victory played such a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Their motive. King and the movement he helped lead were motivated by their unwavering belief that all humanity was created and loved equally by their Creator. Because of this belief, it led them to believe that all should be treated equally.
  • Their movement. Although this movement seemingly was to promote equality for the black community, in reality their movement fought for the equality of all humanity from all walks of life. To see leaders and citizens from all denominational and faith backgrounds journey hundreds of miles to join the fight was inspiring.
  • Their method. Similar to Jesus and the pathway He calls His people to walk in, Dr. King chose nonviolence to combat brutality, love to combat hate, peace to combat war and truth to combat lies. He chose to seek victory through losing and to gain freedom though sacrifice. The method in which Martin proclaimed their message and advanced the movement was an example of kingdom-motivated ethics.
  • The soundtrack. The collaborative genius behind the film’s anthem track “Glory” by John Legend and Common is both an honoring memoir of the past as well as an electrifying call to the present to fight for a better future.
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