Destinta Theater Hosts Free Selma Screening on Historic March Anniversary

Grateful hearts gathered together at New Windsor's Destinta Theater on Sunday, March 8th to enjoy a complimentary screening of Selma (2014) directed by Ava DuVernay. Community volunteer and event organizer, Mary Kostenblatt, reached out to some inner-city groups from nearby Newburgh and also area colleges to see if anyone hadn't yet seen the retelling of the historic March in Alabama 50 years ago. Nearly 200 tickets were distributed. Kostenblatt and the theater of enthusiastic youths joined in a hashtag #SELMA50 #MARCHON photo event. @Happy_HHV tweeted on March 8th in solidarity. 

Some participating groups were: SUNY Orange, Newburgh Girl Power (headlining photo), Glen Hines Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh, Congregation AME, Black History Committee Youth Awardees and NAACP. 

Destinta Theater management was incredibly gracious to the visiting groups and the gentleman in charge, Larry Haber, shown below with Mary Kostenblatt, offered the screening to the community as a show of support for the historical context and integrity of the powerful film. 

In a powerful and eloquent speech on Sunday President Obama said: "There are places and moments in America where this nation's destiny has been decided.....Selma is such a place. In one afternoon fifty years ago, so much of our turbulent history—the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham; the dream of a baptist preacher—met on this bridge. It was not a clash of armies but a clash of wills, a contest to determine the true meaning of America. The idea of a fair America, a just America, an inclusive America and a generous America, that idea ultimately triumphed." 

Selma received two 2015 Oscar nominations, one for Best Picture and one for the Original Song, "Glory" by John Legend and Common. "Glory" went on to win the award. British actor David Oyelowo received a nomination for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I didn't see the contending films, and I'm not a voting member of the academy, but Oyelowo gets my vote all day long. The camera was often focused closely in on his face, and he seemed to re-imagine the plight so deeply he felt it in his bones. He bore a tremendous weight portraying a world renowned activist and icon of non-violent revolution who stood fast in treacherous and deep waters. We needed to believe him, and in my opinion, we wholeheartedly did. The story is gut-wrenching and cathartic, and the film was all-powerful and intently constructed frame in and frame out. 

It is truly a must see and thanks to Destinta and their community partnership, it was.. 

Selma is rated PG-13

"...we are storytellers, writers, poets, artist who abhor unfairness and despise hypocrisy and give voice to the voiceless and tell truths that need to be told." - President Obama Speech on the Bridge on the 50th Anniversary of Selma.

And there we are... Perpetually young in spirit: We are America. Ready to seize what ought to be..