Sunday, January 25, 2015

“What happens when a man stands up and says, ‘enough is enough?'" - Martin Luther King, Jr. in 'Selma'

What is the difference between a person who manipulates people for the good or for the bad ? The former  is called a salesperson and if it is for the good, he is called a "Leader". Martin Luther King is one of those leaders , who through sheer force of words led the movement of the African-American suffrage in early sixties in America. "Selma" showcases King's( ) campaign and struggle to win the rights they truly deserved. All politicians have agendas and it is no surprise when King meets President Lyndon B. Johnson and requests a bill eliminating restrictions on voting for the Black community, Johnson says it is not his priority. How King manages to ultimately convince the President of the Bill forms the rest of the story. 

The movie focuses on Martin Luther King and his strong belief in the cause, without being melodramatic or documentary. It shows that King is not only a great leader, he is also sympathetic, warm and compassionate to everyone. He influences people to participate in this fight of equal voting rights. The initial march between Selma to Montgomery is stopped midway by violent police attacks on the innocent African Americans. This incident is very similar to India's salt satyagraha march by Mahatma Gandhi and shows how much King was influenced by Gandhi and his non-violent methods. It opens this injustice to the rest of the world and soon King has followers from both Caucasians as well as African-Americans. Finally Johnson had to concede to the bill of rights , which posterity will remember Johnson for. It is a huge landmark in the history of African-American civil rights movement. 

Selma is excellent at  creating this '60s period drama. It provides a glimpse into America's history by focusing on the cause rather than people and creates a beautiful narrative flow because even though we all know how history turned out, we are still eager to find out what happened to one man's quest for voting rights in a non-violent manner. 

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