Let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of Selma… with ‘Selma’

Let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of Selma… with ‘Selma’

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Week before last was the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches, lead by Martin Luther King Jr. it led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act, a huge milestone in the struggle for civil rights for black people.

Is there a better way to celebrate this occasion then to see ‘Selma’, starring Briton David Oyelowo, in cinemas now? I think not people! Go to your nearest cinema now (stay clear of the 50 Shades screenings) and go watch this great film, I don’t care if you’ve seen it before!

But seriously though, do it. We’ve come a long way since Selma, but there is still much to be done. Some people seem to think racism is over (‘there’s a black president duh, we’re all equal now) but our media still fails to reflect society. Supporting films like ‘Selma’ gives a clear message that films about black issues are viable.

Sure this isn’t fighting: for freedom, against segregation or for the vote- but it’s still important. It’s also easy too, watching a film (especially a good one) isn’t a chore. Compare that to the 54 mile trek the Selma protestors walked and you probably feel a bit embarrassed about feeling too lazy to go to the cinema, right?

Even more importantly if films like ‘Selma’ are a success it might give the British film industry a kick up the backside (unlikely I know, but a man can dream and we all know where ‘dreaming’ can lead us). David Oyelowo has talked about how black UK actors have had to go to the states to find success, so supporting black films can only help prove UK producers wrong.

You might be thinking that this will have no effect. That no matter how big this film is it won’t change anything. You only have to look at how many Tyler Perry films have been made to see how wrong you are. If movie studios respond to anything, it’s money. When they get the impression that the audience likes something, they force it down our throats till we don’t like it anymore (see Transformers, superhero films etc).

So see ‘Selma’ this week for the 50th anniversary of the real event. You can say you’re trying to bring on social change, even if you’re really just enjoying a great movie.

– Dylan Wiggan


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