Sr Barbara Moore experienced Selma first-hand a half century ago, so when she sat down to watch the film, she wanted to do it alone, reports the Catholic News Service.
"... Emotionally I knew it would probably be impactful," said Sr Barbara.
So the Sister of St Joseph of Carondelet sat alone in a St Louis cinema in January and watched the movie about the events of 50 years ago this March -- the voting rights marches and protests led by the Rev. Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama.
Sr Barbara experienced Selma first-hand a half century ago. A native of St Louis and sister for nine years, she travelled with a delegation of women religious, priests, and ministers from Kansas City -- it was her first plane ride -- and spent three days in Selma during March 12-14, 1965.
They were answering Rev. King's call for support from clergy and other religious leaders throughout the country. Men in collars and women in habits were depicted in the film, a powerful witness to the nonviolent approach.
Sr Barbara was there after a delegation from the Archdiocese of St Louis, which included Sr Antona Ebo, a Franciscan Sister of Mary, and after two men were killed - Deacon Jimmie Lee Jackson (Feb 26, 1965) and the Rev. James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister who had come from Boston and participated in the same March 9 march as Sr Ebo.
The movie hits the viewer in its earliest moments, first with Annie Lee Cooper (Oprah Winfrey) being denied the chance to register to vote, then with the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, in which four young girls were killed.
"It was a very powerful opening," Sr Barbara said, adding that the movie "was very painful in many ways to watch ... but I'm glad that I did see it. I found it very much, in many ways, inspirational."