In the past two years, some of our nation's most influential movies and television shows have dealt with racism and bias. This has all been accompanied by a drumbeat crescendo of news and analysis that goes beyond specific incidents to examine the roots of these issues and the trends that reinforce them.
In this "based on a true story" film, while we are not given a great deal of new information, we are given an important new perspective on the moments leading up to the fifty mile march from Selma to Montgomery. This is precisely why the arts remain so vital, because of the way artists sort things out for us, each in their own unique way.
Selma does not turn away, and it rarely tries to neatly resolve. If the film's conclusion, which winds around President Johnson's announcement of his plans for the 1965 Voting Rights Act to the completion of the third Selma to Montgomery march, feels a little Hollywood in its neatness, that is counterbalanced by the unrelenting unease of the film's journey.