‘Selma’ vs. History by Elizabeth Drew | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

I think that it is regrettable that we are talking about LBJ when we should be talking about civil rights in response to the movie Selma.  But I also agree that LBJ’s role in the passage of the Voting Rights Act should not have been misrepresented. While artistic license in historical moves is standard practice (as it should be) there should be some concern for historical facts, particularly when the subject matter is so important. In The New York Review of Books Elizabeth Drew explains what the movie Selma got wrong (and what it got right). In conclusion, she writes: “Some remarkably specious arguments have been proffered that it doesn’t matter if a movie distorts important history. One writer about films suggested on MSNBC that this whole argument is nothing but Oscar competition cooked up by rival film companies. A film critic for The Washington Post argued that we should simply get used to the idea that films pretending to represent history are going to contain falsities—and that we can then discuss why the director made these choices. But how are we to know? Is every kid who’s misled by Selma going to take a seminar on it? Our history belongs to all of us, and major events shouldn’t be the playthings of moviemakers to boost their box-office earnings. They are no more entitled to falsify such important history than anyone is to paint the Washington Monument orange.”

‘Selma’ vs. History by Elizabeth Drew | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books.

LBJ and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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