Debut for Martin Luther King biopic

Published: Tuesday 27th January 2015 by The News Editor

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The critically acclaimed Martin Luther King biopic Selma will make its European debut at a screening in London tonight .

British actor David Oyelowo, who plays the US civil rights activist, and director Ava Duvernay will be joined at the Mayfair premiere by rapper Tiny Tempah, musician Labrinth and Irish adoption advocate Philomena Lee.

The film is up for best picture at next month’s Oscars, although 38-year-old Oyelowo was snubbed in the Best Actor category despite having been widely tipped to secure a nomination.

The former Spooks and Royal Shakespeare star told the Sunday Times earlier this month that he finished filming Selma just as two black men were killed by American police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York, and the “world went crazy”.

He drew a parallel between the recent deaths and the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” attack on peaceful marchers in Alabama that is depicted in the film.

” Ferguson, I think, was seen as largely a ‘black’ problem – a predominantly black town where a black boy has been killed. But when Eric Garner died (in New York), it went to being an American problem again, because of the power of the image,” Oyelowo told the paper.

“That is a man clearly, indisputably, being killed by a chokehold – which police officers are not allowed to employ – on screen.

“Yet the man who did it is walking free, with no possibility of even being tried.

“That is a clear injustice. Bloody Sunday is a clear injustice. The issue in Selma was the denial of voter registration. The issue now is police reform.”

Selma also stars fellow Britons Tom Wilkinson and Tim Roth plus chat-show queen Oprah Winfrey.

Published: Tuesday 27th January 2015 by The News Editor

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