Selma (PG) ****

Stand Down!

SelmaPolitics and history go hand in hand. Once in a while a leader emerges who sets the world on fire. One such man is chronicled beautifully in Selma. Named after the famous Alabama city March of the 69s this jarring tale from Paramount Pictures will make audiences think at Cineplex Odeon theatres across B.C.

Cameras take us into the Deep South as we see one man try to win voting rights for Afro Americans. Up against a corrupt stare government and racist civic officials a mild-mannered preacher named Martin Luther King Jr., decides to do something about the powerlessness of a disenfranchised community. Sensational on all fronts is David Oyelowo who captures the essence of the mighty orator.

In Selma the filmmakers delve deep into the civil rights movement with its various elders and enemies. Co-producer Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple) sets the stage early as a woman who is victimized by the system. Later events including some memorable marches show the intolerance embedded in the South egged on by a bigoted state government.

Memorable performances of the political powerhouses of the day include Tom Wilkinson (In The Bedroom) and Tim Roth as Negro-hating governor George Wallace. Strong arm tactics by the authorities hit home as you feel for the disadvantaged in this monumental struggle.

Not to be missed Selma is heading your way with a full roster of dynamic dramatic performances.

By Robert Waldman