'Selma' Gets an Endorsement from President George H.W. Bush

Selma Poster - P 2014

The former president and his wife gave the film a thumbs-up after screening it in Houston

Former President George H.W. Bush, his wife Barbara and their guests attended a Dec. 9 screening of Selma in Houston, Paramount Pictures, which is releasing the film, announced Thursday. The movie, starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr., dramatizes the 1965 demonstrations that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Selma has been nominated for four Golden Globes (best picture, director, actor, and original song), and could make Ava DuVernay the first black woman nominated for the best director Oscar.

Read more 'Selma': AFI Fest Review

Selma magnificently recreates the strong emotions felt across our nation, vividly taking us back to when Martin Luther King, Jr. led the civil rights movement,” Bush said in a statement. “Together, the filmmakers and cast not only captured the pain and conflict of that challenging time, but also how far we have come as a society – and, in so doing, reminded us how the freedom to protest peacefully and the power of human spirit make America so great.”

Bush had opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but signed the 1991 Civil Rights Act as president, and nominated the nation's second black Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, also in 1991.