AVA DUVERNAY | USA | 2014 | 128 MIN | PG-13
Director Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-winning dramatization of the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery is remarkable for its grounded, vital rendering of a mythic moment in American history. SELMA follows Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) in the months leading up to the demonstrations, as his attempts to persuade President Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) are consistently rebuffed and the work of black civil rights activists in Alabama is met with state-sanctioned violence. In their depiction of King, DuVernay and Oyelowo capture the complexity of the legendary figure, daring to delve beyond his public strength by exploring his private doubts. Yet the film also highlights the work of the numerous, lesser-known activists who marched and sometimes gave their lives for the cause of equal rights, making SELMA a stirring tribute to their personal sacrifice and quiet heroism.
Cast: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Common
“Rarely has a movie so perfectly captured a specific, historic, and crucial stretch of time.” –Richard Roeper
American cinema has always held a mirror to the country’s ever-changing cultural and political landscape, giving the American people a chance to experience their deepest fears and loftiest ambitions magnified by the power of the silver screen. With State of the Union, PFS invites audiences to explore the country’s past and imagine its future through films that rigorously examine American leaders, institutions, and values while still being great works of entertainment.