Opening at the box office over the weekend, “Selma” proves to be pivotal with $11 million in ticket sales. Based on a crucial moment in the civil rights movement, “Selma” depicts the events spanning over a three-month time period in 1965. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the members of his Southern Christian Leadership Conference marched approximately 50 miles from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama in an attempt to bring awareness to racial inequalities in America.
For years, writers and directors have been trying to get the “Selma” story to the big screen. Thanks to Ava DuVernay, the story was finally told. With the help of producer Oprah Winfrey and actor David Oyelowo who portrayed Dr. King, “Selma” hit the box office proving to be just what America needed in a time where racial war continues to arise. Based on the state of America now, Duvernay, Oyelowo, and Winfrey explain while the release of “Selma” has been “divinely timed”. Check out a few excerpts below from their VARIETY cover story:
The timing of the project:
Duvernay: When events around Ferguson began, I figured the film was going to be a reminder of organizational tactics and strategies we can apply to the idea of civil disobedience…This is a beautiful time for this film to be in the world.
Winfrey: Divine timing is what it is.
Portrayal of Dr. King:
Martin Luther King III: The film shows the depth and breadth of the tactics that (my father) and his team used…It shows that, through endurance, you can be successful, and you can do it in a peaceful way.
Oyelowo: I was really drawn to this man — to the self-sacrifice, the notion of love in the face of hate…As a man of faith, the things that he held dear were the things that lodged in my spirit.
Winfrey: You get to see the magnitude and power of their discipline and strategy…And also, in the end, that they called on love. When (King) called on those clergy from all over the country, they actually came and (were willing to give) up their lives.
Breaking Down Hollywood’s Barriers:
Winfrey: I wanted to see David realize the dream, and I wanted Ava to be able to have this kind of budget and this kind of opportunity.