“Selma” may be one of the more important films of the past decade.
It tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts to rally a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. It’s gripping in the extreme.
But my wife and I took the same feeling away from the film as we drove home this evening from the theater. It was the presence of the Confederate flags being waved by counter protesters who did and said some nasty things aimed at the marchers.
Proud sons and daughters of the Confederacy keep saying — with all earnestness — that their pride rests in their heritage and that it has nothing to do with race. They contend, for example, that slavery was not the reason the Confederate State of America seceded from the Union.
But those Confederate flags waving at the Edmund Pettus Bridge and in Montgomery, where the marchers ended their trek tell a different story — at least to my wife and me.
This enduring symbol of the Confederacy often is displayed by those objecting to African-Americans’ calls for equality. Why is that? How is it that the Stars and Bars has become such a symbol of groups that remain dead set against equality for all Americans based solely on the color of their skin?
We watched the film tonight with our son and his girlfriend. Our son said the film is “tough to watch,” but said it is “worth the time.” We all liked the film very much.
For me, the toughest elements to watch in the movie were the brutality inflicted by law enforcement on the marchers seeking to cross the bridge — and the sight of those Confederate flags waving amid the hideous insults being hurled at Americans who were demanding the right to vote.
Yes, indeed. “Selma” is an important piece of moviemaking.