Review: Selma, 2014, dir. Ava DuVernay

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“If Selma can be described in one word, it’s “fiery.” Biopics are typically such rote, thankless exercises in filmmaking that the idea anybody could make one colored with brushstrokes this passionate feels contrary. But there’s no better way to characterize what Ava DuVernay has accomplished in her dramatic chronicle of the 1965 voting rights marches than with flame. Selma burns brightly, succeeding where other films of its type fail by focusing on a moment rather than comporting itself like an origin story. DuVernay has chosen her moment and done it due justice. This is not the life story of Martin Luther King Jr. This is not MLK Begins, some cheap piece of hagiography disguised as a character study.” (Via Paste Magazine.)

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