Selma is based on true events in the past and includes some remarkable characters some of whom are still alive today. The filmmakers have chosen to create a historical drama about protests at Selma rather than a documentary. This means that the audience’s emotional involvement with the characters will be central to the dramatic impact of the film.
Watch this featurette about a screening of the film to an audience including some of the real people portrayed. Look closely to see how they respond.
So how will the characters be portrayed? Here are some of the main characters in the story. Based on the short descriptions, try to decide how you think they will be represented in the film. Will audiences like them? Hate them? Not be too sure? Next, find out more about each of these characters and try to add ideas to the final column.
|NAME OF CHARACTER
|HOW WILL HE / SHE BE REPRESENTED?
Martin Luther King (MLK)
|Leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) – a non-violent, civil rights movement
Coretta Luther King
|Wife of Martin and mother of their children
George Wallace, Governor of Alabama
|In the 1960s he supported segregation of black and white people in the Southern US states
President Lyndon B Johnson
|Designed legislation to uphold civil rights but also escalated war in Vietnam. Encouraged MLK’s non-violent approach.
|Human rights activist advocating rights for black people – his motto ‘by any means necessary’.
Jimmie Lee Jackson
|Civil rights protestor who was shot by Alabama troops after a protest in Selma.