To say that director Ava DuVernay has faced hurdles in bringing the civil rights drama, Selma, to the big screen is an understatement.
After being the third director brought on board, having to redo the script, literally begging Oprah Winfrey to be a part of the project, and having to write the Dr. King-esque speeches in the film after being denied permission by his estate to use his actual speeches, it’s somewhat of a miracle that DuVernay was able to put together a worthwhile film at all, let alone a film that could contend for an Academy Award soon.
In a recent interview with The Wrap, DuVernay speaks on having Dr. King’s children give their approval after viewing the film and what they said that brought tears to her eyes:
“[Bernice King and Martin Luther King III] both saw the film and we were at Ms. Winfrey’s home where they saw the film side-by-side with [Civil Rights activists] John Lewis and Andrew Young, with C.T. Vivian and Diane Nash and Joseph Lowery and Dick Gregory and Sidney Poitier. They expressed satisfaction at the way that it was done. It meant so much, not just for the King children to say, but also the people who stood next to King during these times…. and so for them to say, ‘Yes, this is right’ or ‘Yes, this is well done.’ That’s what brought tears to my eyes, when all of them were together. It’s been an amazing experience.”
DuVernay just made history as the first Black woman ever to be nominated for a Golden Globe in the motion picture directing category.
Selma is currently playing in limited release and will hit theaters nationwide on Friday Jan. 9.