Selma, the inspiring film set against the backdrop of the historic march led by Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in the United States, opens in South Africa on Friday, 6 February. The film, directed by Ava DuVernay, and with a star cast that includes David Oyelowo; Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Tim Roth, has received critical acclaim around the world.
King’s role as the leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States has attracted significant attention, prompting high profile individuals and celebrities to voice their admiration for his important contribution.
United States President, Barack Obama said, “From Dr. King’s courage we draw strength and the resolve to continue climbing toward the promised land” while Stevie Wonder commented, “In peace our hearts will sing thanks to Martin Luther King”. Oprah Winfrey who stars in Selma as well as being one of the producers said, “Martin Luther King is the one who reminded us that we will never walk alone”.
King’s approach to the Civil Rights Movement was profoundly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of Passive Resistance through Satyagraha (“holding onto truth”). King acknowledged this influence when he said, “It was in this Gandhian emphasis on love and nonviolence that I discovered the method for social reform that I had been seeking….I came to feel that this was the only morally and practically sound method open to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom.”
The South African premiere of Selma was hosted by Videovision Entertainment and the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Sunday, 25 January 2015 in Johannesburg. The event was attended by host of personalities across the corporate, social and political spectrum, among whom were Ahmed Kathrada, Barbara Hogan, Trevor Manuel, Maria Ramos, Tokyo Sexwale, Elinor Sisulu, Mamphela Ramphele, Dali Mpofu and Hlumelo Biko.
Last month, Selma received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Song – Glory by John Legend and Common for which it also won the Best Original Song award at the Golden Globes.
Selma is Videovision Entertainment release through United International Pictures (South Africa).
Picture: Anant Singh, Maria Ramos, Trevor Manuel, Barbara Hogan and Ahmed Kathrada at the South African premiere of Selma.