Star of ‘Selma’ Carmen Ejogo’s 5 Films Everyone Should Watch for MLK Day

 In honor of the 32nd year of observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it’s the perfect time to see Ava DuVernay’s incredibly powerful new film Selma. Starring the amazing David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, DuVernay’s Selma chronicles MLK’s historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965 as part of his campaign to secure equal voting rights for African Americans.

Last week, the film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, and now, we are pleased to share Carmen Ejogo’s personal list of five films to watch on this day. From movies that explore the lives of iconic political leaders who changed the course of history to tales of everyday horror and injustice and the lessons we learn from hatred, check out Ejogo’s picks and where to watch them below.


BOYCOTT, Clark Johnson


Clark Johnson’s 2001 television film starring Jeffrey Wright as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King. Based on Stewart Burns’s Daybreak of Freedom, the film mixes visual styles of newsreels, home movies, documentary, and stock footage to tell the story of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, beginning December 1, 1955 and ending in 1965.


(Watch now on iTunes)

Ryan Coogler’s 2013 drama based on the events surrounding the death of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old man killed by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, and Melonie Diaz, Coogler’s incredible film also features Spencer and Forest Whitaker as producers.


(Watch now on iTunes or Amazon)

Robert Mulligan’s classic 1962 film based on Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title. Starring Gregory Peck and considered one of the best and most important movies ever made, To Kill A Mockingbird tells the story of a a lawyer in the Depression-era South who defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge.


GHANDI, Richard Attenborough
(Watch now on Netflix, iTunes, or Amazon)

Richard Attenborough’s 1982 biopic about the life of non-violent leader of India’s non-cooperative independence movement, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Starring Ben Kingsley, the Academy Award-winning film follows Gandhi’s life from 1893 to his assassination and funeral in 1948.


MILK, Gus Van Sant
(Watch now on iTunes or Amazon)

Gus Van Sant’s 2008 drama about the life of gay rights activist Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. Starring Sean Penn, the movie begins in 1970 and explores Milk’s personal and romantic relationships, his rise into politics, and his assassination in November of 1978.


For more thought-provoking MLK Day culture check out:

Genius Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates Shares A Playlist to Get You in the MLK Day Frame of Mind

Social Justice Writer and Activist Rebecca Carroll’s Cultural To-Do List for MLK Day

Filmmaker Stephen Winter’s Cultural To-Do List for MLK Day

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