"I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice... A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, 'This way of settling differences is not just.' This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love."- Martin Luther King Jr.
Take a moment to savor those words. A real person spoke them. He's the guy who had a dream. This was more of the nightmare portion of his vision. I have been reading articles lately about the challenges screenwriter Tony Kushner had bringing Abraham Lincoln to life on the big screen. How about a film of the Gettysburg Address? It might be difficult to get three hours out of a speech written on the back of an envelope, but that was him: Honest Abe. His words. What else do we need?
Maybe that's why we continue to wait for the Spielberg version of Martin Luther King's life. Mister Kushner might start with the letter from a Selma, Alabama Jail. He could end with a mountain top. And there is little doubt that any Hollywood endeavor would have to find a way to show the frailties of this man who gave us all his word and wisdom. More than the TV-movie managed, anyway. Paul Greengrass, who directed two of the Bourne films, is working on what has been called "Oscar caliber stuff that was a powerful testament to King’s struggle and his sacrifice."
Oscar caliber? For a man who won the Nobel Peace Prize, maybe this isn't the only measure. Perhaps the only measure would involve wisdom, justice and love.