Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Can't Wait for 'Selma,' a Film of True-Life Drama

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Can't Wait for 'Selma,' a Film of True-Life Drama

Article excerpt

The film that's been talked about the most among Americans during the last couple of weeks is not the one I most want to see right now.

In fact, I have no intention at all of buying a ticket, paying an online fee or purchasing outright the movie, "The Interview," the Sony Pictures comedy that's being ballyhooed because of North Korea's objection to the depiction (and scripted assassination plot) of its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The real interest in that film is not what's on the screen, but the turmoil that has surrounded it: the obvious political implications, the computer hacking of a major motion picture company, not-so-veiled threats on movie-goers by the perpetrators and Sony's schizophrenic behavior regarding the movie's release/ non-release/release.

No, I've had my fill of "The Interview," and now I anxiously await the national release of a drama that portrays real-life events that have had an incredible impact on my life and the country as a whole.

"Selma" chronicles the voting rights campaign in the Alabama city in 1965 and, based on some early reviews and several notable award nominations, it does an excellent job of capturing that moment in the civil rights movement.

This film is not without its own controversy, with several people objecting to the portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson as an obstructionist to the movement.

In fact, one of Mr. Johnson's top assistants, Joseph A. Califano Jr., wrote a column for The Washington Post voicing his disapproval and proclaiming "Selma was LBJ's idea" and the president "considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement."

I'll let the historians debate the question of how supportive Mr. Johnson was of civil rights.

Of course, I'm on record saying that my fellow Texan Johnson, because of his actions for equality, was my personal hero. …

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