“Selma” is vital correspondence, filmmaking lived on the streets where brutal facts were ignored then reported, and now snatched back from history to sustain a spirit few films can or will possess. It is stunning humanistic cinema on a mainstream scale, made by a group of unconventional artists. Premiered in an unfinished cut at AFI Fest, this rarely feels like any biopic you’ve seen. It has inventiveness, urgency, humor, and most of all emotion that draws effortless parallels rather than leaving its lesson up on the screen. Even the title cards offer something fresh.

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