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‘Selma' Cast, Crew Touch on Civil Issues at NYC Premiere

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TWC News: ‘Selma' Cast, Crew Touch on Civil Issues at NYC Premiere
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The film "Selma" premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown this week. NY1’s George Whipple attended the red carpet event and filed this report.

“Selma” is the story of a historic protest in 1965 led by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Oprah Winfrey produced the movie.

"You make the mistake, when you have an iconic figure like Dr. King, when you try to tell the whole story from beginning to end of his life, because there's too much,” says Winfrey. “So to really focus on these crucial three months in Selma that made the difference between vote or not voting for an entire race of people in this country at that time, that's why it was an important story to tell."

David Oyelowo plays Dr. King.

"The fact that it is a historical event, and yet it is so resonant for this country right now in light of Ferguson, in light of the Eric Garner situation, I just think that somehow you have to admit that divinely, there is this film that has come for such a time as this, and I hope that we are showing the audience a blueprint for success," he says.

Tom Wilkinson plays President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

"It's very clear that in the beginning, you're not clear what he's thinking. But slowly, he slowly reveals himself to be on the side of the angels," Johnson says.

The movie is directed by Ava DuVernay.

"One man who made his voice heard and people who followed behind him, followed with him, led him. So we hope that we can add something to the conversation," he says.

As the great grandson of the Reverend George Whipple, an abolitionist minister, who worked right here in New York City, and as a civil rights lawyer myself, helping to integrate the Birmingham, Alabama police and fire department, this movie was extremely moving.

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