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Gone are the days when films made by women were touted as such and labeled “women’s films.” No critic or distributor would dare do anything so ignoble to “Selma,” the first major motion-picture portrayal of American civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As befitting the subject, it’s a hard-hitting, uncompromising fighter of a film, and writer and director Ava DuVernay keeps the story tense by homing in on a symbolic event in King’s life: the 87-km march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. This triggered the White House decision to give voting rights to black Americans and subsequently changed the course of U.S. history.

“Selma” opened in the U.S. last year, just as a case went to court involving a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed young African-American man in Ferguson, Missouri. The officer wasn’t indicted, and neither were other officers in similar cases across America.

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