A new movie The Butler tells the story of Cecil Gaines, a White House servant played by Forest Whitaker.

The film is focussed on Gaines but also dramatises key episodes in the story of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, including student sit-ins at luncheon counters and the protests of the Freedom Riders, who fought against local laws or customs in the American South that enforced segregation.

Making her first major appearance in a movie for 15 years, former talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey plays Gaines’ wife Gloria. She tells Tom Brook that as the daughter and granddaughter of domestic staff and the descendant of slaves, servitude is not a foreign concept to her.

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