Lights! Camera! Clean up!

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The news that Lee Daniels, the director, has picked up a project called “Selma” is causing a bit of a buzz around town.

It is uncertain if Daniels will use Selma as his stage. The Alabama Film Commission says it has no definitive word on whether Daniels will come to Selma to make the movie.

Just Monday word eked out in a story about something altogether different that Robert DeNiro is slated to play the late George C. Wallace in the film, which is supposed to cover the years of desegregation in Alabama.

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Already, though, some residents of Selma are wailing and gnashing their teeth about how many will be portrayed as “rednecks.”

It would appear that we would put on our best behavior; clean up our city and prepare for the examination by filmmakers and producers that might bring in dollars and a little more than the notoriety or the dread experienced when someone says something about the civil rights era.

Would our residents say the same thing, say, if Daniels decided to direct a movie about the Civil War in Selma?

We doubt it.

This is an opportunity — whether Daniels makes a movie in Selma or not — for us to clean up our act.

Anticipating the worse is just falling into the old negativism. And that kind of attitude never works.