In Selma, director Ava DuVernay chronicles the 1965 marches that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. With Martin Luther King, played by David Oyelowo, front and center, the film has won plaudits, controversy, awards and, most recently, an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Alison Prato caught up with Ava to talk to her about her film and get her impressions of the man she’s been thinking about for so long; an edited version of their conversation follows.
What do you remember learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. in school?
I went to Catholic school in Southern California, so I learned the basics: “I have a dream;” he believed in peace, and he died, which I think are the broad strokes of what most people learned. I don’t think it’s much different from what you learn in schools about most events — very top line, a homogenized view…
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