Which is why I understand the grief some feel about the line spoken by one of the movement leaders, spoken to Dr. King after the beating death of Reeb: A priest from Boston has been killed.
It's just one example. From the portrayal of President Johnson to the role of women in the struggle for civil rights, much has been already written critiquing the historical accuracy of the film.
I get it. We have a stake in this story; we want it to feel true. And yet, I worry that these questions about the film's representation of the past can be a distraction from its urgent message for us today. While it's not true that James Reeb was a priest - he was a Unitarian minister, and while it's unlikely that one of the leaders in Selma called him a priest, it is critically important to pay attention to the fact that this African American female director in 2015 doesn't seem to care one way or another, and to be open to the possibility that not many others do either.
Approaching it from this angle, we might find ourselves in a conversation about our call - not as Unitarians but as partners in the broad movement to build the Beloved Community. We might find ourselves talking not about only about our presence in Selma in 1965 (including Foothils' own, Rev. Roy Jones), but also the question of where we are called to show up now.
Remaining curious rather than corrective to these "historical inaccuracies" might help us be better allies and interfaith partners as we come to see that perhaps no one cares all that much if we are actually priests, but many care a lot about the presence of a community filled with an authentic and priestly kind of dedication, conviction, compassion and love.
Selma invites us into all kinds of questions about who we are as people of faith and our call for the future. It invites us to think critically about social change - in 1965 and in 2015. It invites us to reconsider sacrifice and redemption, prayer and protest. I urge you to go and see it. And then join in conversation with others. Let us allow these conversations to seep into our everyday lives; let our hearts break wide open to this story of the past as a call to our future and the possibility still, as Dr. King said, for out of the mountain of despair, to carry forward a great stone of hope.