Wednesday, August 7, 2013
In the wake of all the frenzy over the non murder of Trayvon Martin by the fast driving gun toting George Zimmerman comes a movie sure to cater to the already converted of us who think thank god my son is white.
Fruitvale Station, the true story of the murder of Oscar Grant by BART transit cops on New Years Day 2009, is out in theaters and is a must see. Directed by a first timer named Ryan Coogler, the entire movie is the last day in the life of a 22 year old black man with all sorts of troubles with all sorts of joys. You know, like all of us. Grant is played by Michael B Jordan of Friday Night Lights and The Wire fame. He is a kid with a baby, a girlfriend, and a mother played by Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, whose concerned nature and eventual crushing sorrow will bring you to tears, unless of course you are Ted Nugent and openly root for armed authority figures who like to shoot unarmed black kids.
The movie follows Grant through his last day on earth, as he deals with his own anger, his own lack of discipline, his own desire to right his wrongs and his desire to have fun on New Years Eve. Hey, this kid isn't portrayed as a saint, there is no halo over his head at all. He is a kid like many kids at 22, confused, unsure of the future, wanting to be a good man, but still unwilling to back down from a challenge.
It is the last 15 minutes of this 87 minute film that will have you both angry and sad. When he is rousted by BART cops for an incident on a train, handcuffed and eventually turned onto his stomach and shot in the back (stop cheering Ted) you will be pissed. When he lies in a hospital surgery room and his mother takes his friends hands and prays for his life you will be on the edge of tears, but when he eventually dies and his mother demands to see his body let the waterworks flow cuz fighting it is fruitless.
This is probably the most important movie of 2013 so far. Which of course means only a minuscule percentage of the population will bother to see it. But please, see it.