Parent Guide: Selma

About Selma

Selma chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The movie focuses on the time leading up to the march in Selma which led to the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Rated: PG-13


Parent Guide

Best for: 13 and up


Several scene where characters are attacked.

People are beaten and bloody

Children are killed in an explosion

A man is beaten to death

Reference to lynching and murders


Occasional use of words like “f–k,” “s–t,” “bulls–t,” “ass,” and “goddamn.”

Frequent use of racial slurs

Mature Content

Occasionally kissing

A character overhears a couple having sex

Talk about infidelity


Several scenes with intense conflict, fighting and violence.


The film covers the historical events that occurred around the March in Selma in 1965. There are several disturbing scenes that depict racism and acts of violence. Selma is best viewed an audience of teenagers or older. The use of strong racial slurs and profanity are to be expected as well as bloody and violent attacks against peaceful protestors. Additionally, young innocent children are killed in a bomb explosion. This is a powerful and educational film filled with much historical content but is best suited for older audiences due to the intense and graphic nature of the events.

To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day we compiled a few of our favorite books and film that highlight the life of Dr. King. Read our full list of favorite MLK resources for children.