With all the talk commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights March on Selma Al. on March 7th 1965, I decided to watch the film and see how true it was in depicting events with which I was familiar.
I found the film shallow in a documentary style. In my opinion, films like Malcolm X and "Glory' were much better.
I was troubled by the film's portrayal of President Johnson. I thought that it was unduly harsh indicating that he was dragged to the altar of civil rights awareness kicking and screaming. That was not the Lbj I knew. Attacking Johnson in this way was a sort of revision of history that was Unwarrented and unsupported.
He was always a very passionate man in everything that he believed and did, and wasn't one to dally with expediency.
No man is going to risk as much political capital, being a southerner accepting the ire of an entire region to get CRA 1964 and the Voting Rights act of 1965 passed with a halfhearted attitude. After Kennedy was assassinated, my father was worried sick about this southerner moving into the WhiteHouse. Was he going to turn away from all Kennedy attempted to do in the area of CR? Even as a kid, I recognized what we had with Johnson, a pleasant surprise indeed.
My studies of history tell me that he wanted to pick up the mantle of his slain predecessor, John Kennedy who himself took a while to see the need to confront the issue head on. JFK did not have the finesse to get this contentious legislation passed, only LBJ could do this.
The film's portrayal of LBJ was inaccurate and unfair to Johnson's legacy as a friend of CRM. Were it not for Vietnam, he could have easily attained to greatness.
So on this commemoration day, what are your thoughts?
Great thoughts, Credence, I can't fault one point you made. I won't see it for two reasons, 1) as you say, it distorts history and 2) through the lens of TV, Walter Cronkite, and being a Californian, I lived through the period; while my head wasn't battered, my sensibilities were. Selma, the real one, helped shape my social, political views as well as my understanding of what being conservative really meant (one of the reasons I take them to task so much in my hubs.)
The one attribute Selma, the movie, has is it lays bare, once again, what being an American conservative is all about today and tomorrow and what it has been since the founding of this country.
The film Selma made a statement or an observation about what happened in Selma on that bridge that day. Glory and Malcolm were historical films that showed where Malcolm and the Buffalo Soldiers were coming from, in the years and time that made them remarkable African- Americans. Since I was in my teens and a child soldier at the time I know the history of all three struggles. I agree Selma lacked substance and was a misuse of a teachable moment.
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