1) It’s historically accurate
The events in the film actually happened. Martin Luther King Jr. did go to Selma and he did lead a march there. History is important, but it is often ignored. This film does a great job of showing history in an accurate yet entertaining light. It is a film that people of all ages can learn from.
2) It teaches about racism and social justice
The Selma march was caused by people being denied their rights. Both African Americans and women had had the right to vote for over 40 years. African American men had actually had the right to vote for nearly a hundred years by the time the Selma march happened. But they were denied that right as a result of continuing racism. Selma teaches about the affects racism can have on people and it shows the importance of standing up for what is right. Martin Luther King Jr. was a powerful and effective protester, and his methods can be applied to issues that exist today. Everybody even moderately interested in social justice can learn from this film.
3) It is inspirational
Martin Luther King Jr. is a powerful figure. His name is known around the world. Even if you can’t remember exactly what was in his “I have a dream” speech, chances are you have heard about it. Ad people love the idea of overcoming adversity. Selma features a prominent figure and it has a powerful message. Even if you don’t come out of the theatre ready to take to the streets in protest, you will come out of the theatre inspired.
4) It is hopeful
Martin Luther King Jr. was able to lead the people of Selma to victory. Selma is one of the protests that was an obvious victory. The adversity was over come. It is difficult to walk out of the theatre without thinking that all protests can be one, and all adversity can be over come. It makes the future look that much brighter.
5) It is relevant
It is impossible to watch Selma without thinking about how it relates to current events. There are obvious similarities between the police brutality directed at the Selma protesters and the police brutality aimed at the protesters in Ferguson. Selma was released at the perfect time. I can only hope that people look at the similarities and learn from the events of the past so that the future can be brighter than it looks right now.