Much has been written as to why questions about the film's historical accuracy might have prevented it from resonating with the various academies. Some object to the less than generous picture of Lyndon Johnson. Forward took issue with that and the fact that Jewish contributions to the Civil Rights Movement did not get their proper due (given the demographics of the Academy, I have a feeling the latter issue might have been a factor in Selma's lack of nominations).
I tend to agree with those who say that the choice to focus on ordinary black folks instead of white allies and politicians was meant to highlight something specific about the nature of activism. Specifically, how do you get grassroots movements national attention and keep fellow activists motivated, even when action comes at great personal cost? With regards to the film's hardened portrayal of LBJ, how do you assure politicians that your concerns are significant enough to warrant their trust and attention?
I thought a lot about the summer I raised money on the street for Equality California in LA. It was 2009, and the California Supreme Court had just decided to uphold Prop 8, the law that denied gays and lesbians the right to marry in California. It was an exciting time to be a canvasser because this was an issue everyone was informed and fired up about, for better or worse.
Occasionally, I would run into someone who asked me, "Aren't you mad at Obama for not doing anything about it?"