America is going through some difficult times right now in terms of race relations. You only have to look at a newspaper or turn on the television news and it’s painfully evident, because it doesn’t look like we’ve learned anything from our history and we’re on our way to repeating it.
That’s why it may be the perfect time for a movie like Selma, which depicts the march in Alabama led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (played by David Oyelowo) to get America’s black citizens the right to vote. Gathering the people of the town, including many older women, they plan to march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery to protest their unfair treatment by Alabama’s Governor George Wallace (played by Tim Roth). Meanwhile, in Washington, President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) was doing his best to keep the peace while not fully supporting King’s movement.
Directed by Ava DuVernay, who got attention for her small indie film Middle of Nowhere a few years back, the film not only shows the planning of the march and how it had such a huge impact on our country at the time, but it also deals with King’s domestic issues at home with wife Coretta Scott King, played by Carmen Ejogo.
It’s a beautifully-crafted film that’s likely to get a lot of awards attention for Oyelowo’s portrayal of King as well as DuVernay’s direction in creating such a vivid portrait of the conflicting feelings during the American South at the time, while getting absolutely incredible performances from the entire ensemble cast.
ComingSoon.net attended the New York junket for Selma where we had a chance to talk to DuVernay, David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo and Common (who plays local Selma activist James Bevel), Tom Wilkinson and Tim Roth, the highlights of which you can watch in the video player below. (The video is a little longer than some of our other video interviews, because they all had great things to say about the making of the film.)
As an added bonus, we also asked Oyelowo about the coincidence that he and co-star Colman Domingo appeared together in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln in a scene at the end of the Civil War a hundred years earlier where they ask the President when they might get the right to vote, a conversation which is mirrored in a scene between the two actors in Selma.
Selma opens in select cities on Christmas Day, December 25, then expands nationwide on Friday, January 9, 2015.