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It’s been 50 years since a group of brave men and women in Selma, Ala., marched to change America. In the upcoming film “Selma,” opening nationwide January 9, director Ava DuVernay tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Civil Rights activists attempting a 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks.

The first march, dubbed “Bloody Sunday,” ended after marchers were attacked with billy clubs and tear gas. But ultimately, the Selma protests led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark achievement in the Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. King, played by actor David Oyelowo, has never been portrayed as the main character in a major motion picture — until now. DuVernay, who has been garnering award season buzz, says she had two goals for directing this historic film.

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