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Title of the Film: Selma

Humanities 2001: Critical Thinking – Film Analysis Notes and Tracking Worksheet

Title of the Film: Selma

“Film Summary – Selma”

“Selma” precisely portrayed events in 1965. It happened as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged the state’s plans to deny “American Negro” rights. Who knew that racism and sexism persisted in the South even after the Civil Rights Act? On the other hand, white officers abused blacks for no reason while not being prosecuted for their acts.

Dr. King was ordered to Selma to execute the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Despite its passage, the act was not enforced in the South. Because they were white cops, they would beat and threaten blacks for no reason. When King and his followers came to Selma, they knelt in front of the courtroom, hands behind their heads, begging for their rights to enforce. Denied their privileges, they were assaulted and detained. Dr. King then marched to Montgomery to register black voters. When King and his followers came to Selma, they knelt in the front of the courtroom, hands behind their heads, begging for their rights to enforce. Denied of their rights, they were assaulted and detained. Dr. King then proceeded to Montgomery to register black voters.

“List any examples of historical moments or references.”

A. One of the most rememberable things about the march was the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr. It is considered one of the greatest speeches in history and really got people to rally behind Martin Luther King Jr. and what he believed in.

B. A-bomb lodged by the Ku Klux Klan killed four young black ladies coming from Birmingham, Alabama’s 16th Street Baptist Church.

C. Annie Lee Cooper attempts to enroll in voting in Selma, Alabama but is turned away by the white registrar.

“Discuss a lesson you learned from the film.”

Following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York, several whites have taken into leadership roles at large rallies to set themselves apart from reactionaries and quiet moderates. “Selma” teaches white sympathizers to respect black leaders, listen to their advice, and follow their example. Aside from putting aside concerns King’s request, Johnson followed this strategy for being an ally, brainstorming with King behind the scenes about how to best assist the demonstrators’ efforts.

“Ask a question (inspired by the film) about history.”

I encourage examining how films and other literature portray politics and paying more attention to the Civil Rights Movement, especially when courts and legislators roll back some of King and his colleagues’ victories. That’s where California’s method falls short, apart from creating a strange criterion for fiction. Instead, it says that we should evaluate fiction for errors, and if deviations from science or history occur, we should stop talking about it.

“Identify a source where you might find an answer to your question”.

Selma is a 2014 movie by director Ava DuVernay based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s effort to secure voting rights for black citizens in 1965

“Suggest a Call to Action for a reader (For instance, should others watch the film–why or why not?).”

Although Selma took place fifty years ago, the film is a description of the Selma voting right protest, the march from Selma to Montgomery, the passage if the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the leadership of Dr. Martin King Junior.

Most Americans today should know the importance of Selma, Alabama and how it has positively affected us. About fifty years ago Dr. King led hundreds of American on a mission to march from Selma to Montgomery to fight for voting right. The march was meant to be peaceful and representation of the outrage many felt in their fight to overcome the obstacles standing in the way of voting rights.

Title of the Film: Selma

Title of the Film: Selma

consider a film that depicts history. You might discuss how the film was accurate in the depiction of the history it portrays, why the film might have been made when it was made, what the film’s message is, or how the film might relate to you or to a modern audience. 

Your analysis should use the principles of rhetorical analysis (Chapter 6) and structuring assignments effectively (Chapter 7), and must have a minimum of two outside sources that can help the reader understand the historical perspective of the film. 

TITLE PAGE. The title page is separate from the body of the paper and uses APA 7 format. Use the templates provided in the 
APA Resources – 7th Edition
 course module. Notice that your bold lettered title on this page also appears at the top of the first page. 

PARAGRAPH ONE (“THE INTRODUCTION”). In the first sentence, give the reader a reason for wanting to read your analysis. That is called a hook because it hooks your reader’s attention. In the rest of the paragraph, use one of your sources to supply historical background about the events the film depicts without naming the film. End the paragraph with a thesis (a position statement) that announces to the reader what the film is and what the film wants the viewer to believe about the events. 

PARAGRAPH TWO. Supply a brief overview of the film and how it handles the events described in your introduction.  

PARAGRAPH THREE. Explain why the film was made when it was. Was there something going on at the time that made the film relevant, even important? Maybe the film is spurring the viewer to think differently or to act with some particular purpose. Here is a good point to use your second source. 

PARAGRAPH FOUR. Explain whether the film accurately portrays the era to make its point.  

· Does it get the facts straight?  

· Does it make some details seem bigger than they might have been?  

· Does it manipulate emotions?  

Discuss the impact that the film has on the viewer now. This is a good place to discuss the film’s pathos (how it tries to evoke the viewer’s emotions) and ethos (how the film establishes itself as being reliable and trustworthy and gets us on its side or on the side of the characters). 

PARAGRAPH FIVE (“THE CONCLUSION”). Like any conclusion, this one begins with stating the big point that you want your reader to remember. Then remind them of the most important points you made that support your idea. End with something that will clinch your argument and hold it in your reader’s mind. One way is to end with a call to action. Knowing what you have told the reader, should they watch the film, for instance? If you DO or DO NOT recommend the film, make sure you give a reason with a strong connection with what you have written in your analysis. 

REFERENCE PAGE. Supply full bibliographical entries for the film and the two sources. Put these in alphabetical order (you do that so the reader can find them easily) and use hanging paragraphs (again to make it easy for readers to find the source you refer to in the body of your paper). 

Paper requirements: 

· Five paragraphs with a good thesis statement that takes a stand, strong topic sentences, at least 1 in-text citation from each source (two are required), and a conclusion that summarizes the major points you made. 

· Minimum of 500 words (about two pages), not including title page and reference page. 

· APA 7 format, including title page and reference page, double-spaced throughout, 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Use the APA template found in the 
APA Resources – 7th Edition
 module of this course. 

· Do not use the first or second person in your writing (no “I” or “we” and no “you”). Focus on the film and when you speak about its emotional power, write about its effect on the viewer, not on you. Assume that you are speaking for what any viewer would feel. 

· Formal/professional language only. Do not use contractions, slang, or vague language. Assume you are writing this for a college-educated reader.