Selma's Missing Rabbi | Peter Dreier

January 17, 2015 3:11 PM

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Ava DuVernay's film "Selma" is a remarkable depiction of a key moment in the civil rights movement, highlighting the strategic savvy, relentless courage, and human frailties of Rev. Martin Luther King, his inner circle of advisors, local grassroots activists, and the many other crusaders who traveled to this rural town to draw attention to the need for a voting rights bill in 1965. Although "Selma" was nominated for an Oscar for Best Film, critics are justifiably outraged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' failure to nominate director DuVernay and star David Oyelowo (who plays King) for Oscars.

"Selma" has triggered controversy for its portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson as a reluctant and occasionally hostile ally of the civil rights movement. That debate is over a contentious sin of commission, but critics could also fault the film for a glaring sin of omission: the absence of identifi...

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