Just finished watching Selma. Gotta keep going with the 2015 catch-up. I didn’t see Selma in 2015 because I have a contentious view of MLK. Great orator, important figure, as a person…it’s complicated.
I think most educated people know about the affairs. If you read the March graphic novels, you also find out he was kinda a chicken. He piggy-backed on the backs of people who faced the brunt of the hatred and discrimination of upsetting racial segregation. He actively avoided a lot of the sit-ins and marches until it was politically advantageous for him. Reaped the rewards without the work.
The film also sidelines John Lewis, one of the original 13 Freedom Riders. At least they show John Lewis leading the crowd on Bloody Sunday. The film ignored all the groundwork he laid for that moment, attributing it to MLK, of course.
There are some great moments in Selma, but I don’t like how it mythologizes MLK. He’s a deeply flawed man. Wished they showed that. A historical film doesn’t always have to be accurate, but it should capture the spirit of its subject. Instead, it further perpetuates a myth that isn’t helpful or honest.
© 2016 James Blake Ewing