We saw this Oscar nominated movie this evening. I am still processing it.
I made some notes on my phone in the car on the way home as Tom and I discussed it.
First, let me say it's a good thing when the subject matter of a film leads to an intelligent discussion. This is a meaty film.
Here are my notes: Voter restriction even now, such cruelty still exists, gaps in my historical memory of what happened, news coverage so much different now than it was then, my impressions as a young person and what I didn't realize was happening.
As a movie, the script flows smoothly, with enough devices to fill in the background and historical context. It has a documentary quality to it, and I learned a lot. The acting is very good, especially David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King. It was a wise decision to focus on just one three month campaign in the civil rights movement in 1965, for the purpose of abolishing the restrictions on voting rights of African Americans in Alabama. There is plenty of conflict and cruelty and courage in just that small portion of the Civil Rights Movement. How horrifying it must have been to have lived through the whole process. Dr. King reflects that very well in his weary determination.
My lasting impression is one of sadness and discouragement. Such viciousness still exists in the hearts and minds of some of my countrymen. Whether it's blacks or gays or Muslims or the down and out on our city streets, the capacity for hate and cruelty is still strong.
This movie focused on the campaign for voting rights, and yet right now state legislatures are trying to restrict the right to vote, to throw up road blocks to this basic right of self determination. Dr. King's truth still marches on, and so does his mission.