I honestly don't have any words to describe the effect that Selma has had on me. Before the film had even started, I was holding back tears. And whenever I cry during movies, I'm able to stop by telling myself that it's just a movie.
But I couldn't do that with Selma. I couldn't lie to myself, because I know that it's more than a film.
Selma is ours.
And I'll give you five reasons why:
1. The director:
Okay, Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma, is amazing. She's glorious. She's fantabulous. I'm honestly grateful to her, and in awe of her talent. Not only is she an amazing storyteller, but also she is the first black female director to be nominated for Golden Globe.
It's insane. I'm crossing my fingers, not only for the Golden Globes, but for the Oscars as well.
John Legend and Common collaborated on "Glory," a song on the film's soundtrack. Not only is the song just plain awesome, but it ties the events of today with those featured in the film with lyrics like "That's why Rosa sat on the bus! That's why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up!"
3. It's about the people:
Selma isn't a documentary about Martin Luther King Jr. It's called Selma because of the famous "Bloody Sunday" march on March 7, 1965, in Selma, Alabama. Six hundred marchers gathered and marched to Montgomery, facing the threat of violent police. A second march was held, where Dr. King called for civil rights supporters to join him.
The film doesn't just focus on Martin Luther King Jr. It's about the town. It's about the people, their bravery and selflessness. It's about their coming together and fighting for what they believed in: justice for each other.
4. What's going on now:
One of the aspects of this film that I continue to hear people comment on is how it relates to the events of today. Protests have been occurring, similar to the ones featured in the film. Because of what has been going on, it was easier to feel like the events of the past were connecting with those of the present. It felt like the film gave insight as to what people of color are dealing with today.
5. The effect it can have on its audience:
Honestly, I didn't think that I was going to be able to see Selma right away. But because of 27 AWESOME African-American leaders in the NYC business community, I got to see it for free. Crazy, right?
The fact that those people came together to make sure that young people like me would be able to see the film makes my heart swell. It a strange way, it reminds me of the community expressed in the film. The people in Selma came together for the greater good, just like the leaders from the business community came together to make this possible.
Plus, think about the effect that this could have on young people. Film can express so many different ideas, and I think that many of the young people who have a chance to see this film will walk out of the theater with new ideas.
I wanted to write about this amazing, beautiful film because telling people about it just isn't enough. I believe that Selma is a major moment in cinematic history, not just because of the achievements that it has had, but because of the effect it has had on its audience. I hope that everyone is able to see it.
To Ava DuVernay, Oprah, David Oyelowo:
Thank you. Thank you.
(Cue more of my tears.)