A Late Review of Selma

January 23, 2015 9:26 PM

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Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay, is a movie of textures: the thin cloth of blouses and rough wool of suits; the thick lattice of veins beneath cracked skin and the glimmering rivulets of blood and sweat; the cold classical imperiousness of marble, the grating patchwork of tarmac, the rust and the rivets adorning the stale metal of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Selma is a small movie, but it is neither slight nor frail. It is packed with tenderness and cunning and anguish and humor and joy. It is brimming with passion and grandeur and scope, but never bluster. It is a biopic of silences and glances and moments. It is a history both unassuming, and bold. It is daring and acute and necessary.

The film, which enjoyed a limited release on Christmas and moved nationwide on January 9th, is an excerpt of the American Civil Rights movement, that stretches outward warmly and sharply in all directions. Rather than attempt to encompass the magnitude of work done and undone, of questions unanswere...

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