Film of the Day: Selma

Selma - David Oyelowo as Dr Martin Luther King
MLK (David Oyelowo) leads protestors straight to the heart of American politics. Photo: Paramount

Ava DuVernay’s civil right’s epic, Selma chronicles the three-month period in 1965 when peaceful protestors, led by Dr Martin Luther King Jr (David Oyelowo), fought a campaign to secure equal voting rights in Alabama. The climactic march from Selma to Montgomery forced Lyndon B Johnson to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The film is not just about political history though; it also has a deeply sensitive personal exploration of Martin Luther King and his friends, family and loved ones. DuVernay rather like the movement resists the temptation to portray things in black and white, and the complexity of the situation is brought across vividly and accurately.

Selma is a revelatory and celebratory film that urges us to reconsider the rights and advantages that, to some, come as God-given but for others must be fought for tooth-and-nail. Also starring Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth and Common.

128 minutes

Selma – Wednesday at 11.15pm on BBC Two