US civil rights biopic and Oscar hopeful 'Selma' premieres in LA

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US civil rights biopic and Oscar hopeful 'Selma' premieres in LA

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Half a century after Martin Luther King Jr.‘s historic civil rights march, US film director Ava DuVernay is bringing the events to the big screen in ‘Selma’.

Introducing the film at its world premiere in Los Angeles, British actor David Oyelowo, who plays the lead role, said the movie sheds light on the significance of the contemporary civil rights movement: “It’s kind of shocking how evocative the film is of what we see on the news today,” he said.

“Voting rights are being eroded, the very rights that were won in the Voting Rights Act that you see won in this film, that was won through the Selma campaign. When you see Ferguson, basically Selma was Ferguson 50 years ago,” she says.

US actress Tessa Thompson, who co-stars in the movie, echoed those thoughts: “You know, when I first saw some of the images from our film, they looked like they were Ferguson. So I think the relevance is that we’re a nation because of our history that has a lot problems sewn into the fabric of it and that we always have to be taking a look and trying to figure it out.”

‘Selma’ follows civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. over a period of three months in 1965 as he leads a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to secure equal voting rights for African-Americans.

The film co-stars Oprah Winfrey who also produced it, and received positive reviews with one critic describing it as "a politically astute, psychologically acute biopic (that) makes the civil rights movement seem like only yesterday".

‘Selma’ opens in Los Angeles and New York on Christmas Day to qualify for the upcoming Academy Awards, before going global in January.

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