Film Review: Selma

On Tuesday 10th February 2015, viagra 100mg I went to see Selma; the movie depicting the black civil rights marches from Selma, stomach Alabama to Montgomery, led by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965. This is how the film made me feel.

Angry. I felt angry that people could be so ignorant to believe that anybody is less deserving of basic human rights based on something as trivial as skin colour.

Sad. I felt sad that the black community had to go through and are still experiencing to some extent such pain and injustice at the hands of other human beings.

Lucky. I felt lucky that I was born into an environment where race doesn’t rule whether someone’s allowed to vote or sit on a bus. Lucky that the mind-set and morals I have developed do not allow me the capacity to consider that someone’s race should determine their humanity or rights.

Hurt. I felt hurt in my heart as I watched black marchers walk toward a wall of white supremacists, stand their ground and remain peaceful, all along fully aware of the hell that was about to rain down on them.

Compassion. I felt compassion towards the people who worked together peacefully in the fight against discrimination and the right to vote.

Three scenes into the film and your heart will beat faster, a lump will form in your throat, and all of these feelings will start seeping into your body as you sit, transfixed with what is unfolding before your eyes. You will see things that will stay with you forever; actions that will remind you of the overbearing power of blind ideology.

Film has the power to move people and communicate messages through storytelling which is exactly what the makers of Selma execute seamlessly. The crew managed to portray the sheer violence that occurred and shoot the film in a shocking but stunning style. The film has been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year, though it’s also the first year that no black actors or actresses have been Oscar nominated for their role in a film since 1998, despite striking performances from the cast, including David Oyelowo as King, Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper, a civil rights hero, and Carmen Ejogo as King’s wife.

Selma depicts the events leading up to the Voting Rights Act on its 50 year anniversary but the film seems to have come at a particularly relevant time. Though great progress has been made and the United States of America have seen their first black president appointed in the last decade, the violence of the white authorities toward the black population in Selma rings all too familiar with the police brutality towards young black males happening right now in America.

If there’s one film that’s going to make you feel human it’s Selma, so if you see only one movie at the cinema this month, make it this one.

Amanda Graham

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150 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. That’s all I can think about having just sat through 2 and a half hours of Timothy Spall grunting and painting whilst toing and froing between a 1800s Margate and London town. Mr. Turner is a biopic of the 19th Century British painter Joseph Mallard William Turner’s career and personal life during his last twenty something years.

Spall won Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year for his portrayal of the painter who was renowned for his revolutionary watercolour landscape paintings. Spall even spent two years learning how to paint like Turner, diagnosis also known as the ‘painter of light’. The film sees how Turner copes with the death of his beloved father who was among his few true friends, the dysfunctional relationship between Turner and his housekeeper, Turner’s negligence of his two daughters and his friendship turned romance with a seaside landlady whose arms he eventually dies in.

The film’s visual team save the day with some beautiful cinematography and stunning scenic shots. But what’s aesthetically beautiful can mean nothing without a solid story beneath it. While imagery is a huge part of the success of a movie, the backbone of a great film is the story being told which Mr. Turner doesn’t have.

The only emotions that were evoked in me were those of boredom, despair and desperation for Mr. Turner’s character to finally pass away after a long-winded illness. There were times when, as a fan of painting, I felt the urge to pick up a paintbrush myself once I got home and create a masterpiece, however, the urge to write down my feelings about the movie were far greater.

If the producer could’ve shaved the film down by an hour it would have passed as bearable. While I sympathise with the idea of fitting the last 20 years or so of a man’s life into a feature-length film I do not agree that many of the moments that occurred in Mr. Turner’s life were essential in making the film complete. I think the fact the film had so little story and emotion involved begs the question; was there ever a great story to bring to life worth creating a biopic of 19th Century painter J.M.W.Turner for?


Amanda Graham