Selma provides a snapshot of the efforts to end systematic suppression of Black voting and other civil rights in the South. The film focuses on the SCLC and SNCC organized Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965. It also takes a close look at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s (David Oyelowo) lobbying meetings with President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson).
What Happened, Miss Simone? is an award-winning Netflix documentary about the life and career of Nina Simone. I recommend the documentary as an introduction to the life and music of Nina Simone. There might not be a lot of new info for people who are already fans. But, it might still be worth checking out just to hear Simone speak about herself and her career in her own words.
Bessie is an HBO film starring Queen Latifah in an excellent portrayal of 1920’s blues legend Bessie Smith. The movie covers Bessie’s rise, fall, and comeback during the 1920’s — 1930’s with brief peeks back into her childhood. The movie is quite good due to the great performances and cinematography but the story itself is a bit lacking. It isn’t perfect but it’s still enjoyable and worth seeing. I recommend Bessie if you’re into music, a fan of any of the actors, or you’re just looking for a good movie to watch.
12 Years a Slave is a movie about the unfortunate life events of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Solomon was a violinist who lived with his wife and two young children in Saratoga Springs, NY in 1841. Lured away from home under false pretenses, Solomon is kidnapped and sold into slavery. He spends 12 years of his life yearning for his family and suffering under the false identity of “Platt”.