Rep. John Lewis Calls ‘Selma’ Movie "Long Overdue"

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. (Steven Senne, AP) U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.,acknowledges applause during the W.E.B. Du Bois medal award ceremonies Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, on the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. The Du†Bois Medal is Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies. Lewis was presented with the medal during the ceremonies. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) ORG XMIT: MASR105
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. (Steven Senne, AP)
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., acknowledges applause during the W.E.B. Du Bois medal award ceremonies Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, on the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass. The Du†Bois Medal is Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African and African American Studies. Lewis was presented with the medal during the ceremonies. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) ORG XMIT: MASR105

The reaction of Rep. John Lewis to Selma, the new film about Martin Luther King, could be one of those quotes you see in a movie advertisement.

“It was long overdue,” the Georgia Democrat recently told Variety for a Pop Politics interview on Sirius XM radio. “It was time for it to be on the big screen.”

Lewis, now 74 years old, was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1965 when he was beaten by Alabama state troopers on the day known as Bloody Sunday. Hundreds of marchers were trying to make their way from Selma, Ala., to the state capital in Montgomery to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks. Lewis suffered a skull fracture amid the blows.

The Bloody Sunday scene is part of Selma, the movie released on Christmas that’s earned David Oyelowo a Golden Globe nomination and Oscar buzz for his portrayal of King.

Lewis, who was bestowed a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 for his civil rights work, is played by Canadian actor Stephan James. (James as Lewis is pictured above on the far right.)  The congressman told The Washington Post that he was brought to tears when he met James on the movie set.

“Seeing myself being played is almost too much,” Lewis told The Post.

In his Variety interview, Lewis said it was hard for him to relive Bloody Sunday and “hearing people crying out for help.” But he gives the film kudos for “capturing the essence of what happened and how it happened.”

SOURCE: USA Today On Politics – Catalina Camia