Entertainment

‘Selma’ Scene Filmed on Bridge Named for KKK Leader

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 file photo, Ava DuVernay, left, director of the film "Selma," and cast member, David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr., pose together at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles.  The widely acclaimed movie "Selma" about the 1965 Civil Rights movement has disappointed at least one moviegoer: a leading historian of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The director of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, which hosted a major civil rights summit this year that was headlined by four U.S. presidents, said the film that opens in theaters Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014, incorrectly portrays Johnson as an obstructionist to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014 file photo, Ava DuVernay, left, director of the film “Selma,” and cast member, David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr., pose together at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

 

(CBS News) – The director of the new movie celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights tells Bob Simon that filming it on a bridge still named for a KKK leader was poetic justice for past racism. Simon profiles “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, who also defends her film’s controversial portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson, on 60 Minutes Sunday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Standing in front of the Selma, Alabama, bridge that still bears the name of the Confederate general and KKK leader Edmund Pettus, DuVernay recalls her feelings shooting critical scenes on it. “I took great pleasure directing scenes on this bridge,” she tells Simon with a smile. “I imagined [Pettus] turning over in his grave a little bit [and him] thinking ‘where did it all go wrong? This was not supposed to happen,'” she says, of what a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan might have thought about a black woman directing a film about a black man so revered that the nation named a holiday for him.

DuVernay shot graphic scenes on the bridge of African Americans being beaten by police, just as they were during the historic “Bloody Sunday” march for voting rights in Selma in 1965.

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