David Oyelowo says films like Selma are even more important in this time of 'uncertainty'

The actor drew parallels between racial tensions in the film and those in the US today

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The Independent Culture

British actor David Oyelowo has said that films like Selma are important when the world is in such a state of "unrest".

The star, who plays Dr Martin Luther King Jr. in the biopic Selma, drew parallels between the civil rights protests of the Sixties and those taking place after the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

“We’re in the middle of protests again. There’s a lot of unrest, a lot of uncertainty in the world and the temptation is get angry and lash out but it doesn’t produce any dividends, really,” Oyelowo told London Live last night at the European premiere of Selma.

“We just end up going round in a circle of nonsensicalness, if you like. So what he did, I think is very effective even today,” he added.

The Oscar-nominated film has been directed by Ava DyVernay and documents the epic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery organised by Luther King Jr.

This is not the first time Oyelowo has compared the racial tensions depicted in Selma to those in the US today. Back in December last year he said in an interview with CBS News that the “parallels between Selma and Ferguson are indisputable”.

The deaths of black teenager Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Garner in New York led to widespread demonstrations across the US and ramped up racial tensions.

However, Oyelowo remains positive about the demonstrations, “You see in America some of the most robust protests we’ve seen since the Vietnam War.”


“The world is in a state of unrest, there’s a lot going on and I think to see that black and white, young and old can come together with a similar focus and bring about change is something that I think it incredibly poignant for today.”

Selma is released in cinemas in the UK on 6 January