In a world still full of racial inequality and an increased awareness on police brutality, Fruitvale Station, which was released five years ago, is still more prominent than ever.
The movie is based on a true story of the killing of Oscar Grant on New Years Day 2009. Ryan Coogler, otherwise now known as the mastermind behind Black Panther, does a fantastic job depicting the last 24 hours of Grant’s life.
The role of Oscar Grant was terrifically played by Michael Jordan. I’m a big fan of Michael Jordan. I first realized his talent in Creed, also a Coogler creation, then he owned the screen in Black Panther. But before all that was his role as Grant in Fruitvale Station.
It’s an emotional story to follow with a very simple yet effective message, we’re all human beings. Grant was not a perfect guy, but he tried his damnedest. He had recently lost his job at a butcher shop in which he was trying to get back so he didn’t have to sell dope on the streets for money. Even so, he did everything he possibly could to be a good father to his four-year-old daughter.
The scenes of the fatal shooting were emotional and showed how far this country still has to go. While the cops being complete asses was a little exaggerated, it wasn’t far from the truth. All the proof you need of that is watching the actual video of it happening.
The release of this film is also prominent because it was released on July 26, 2013, just two weeks after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the murder of Trayvon Martin.
Another performance that can’t be overlooked is Octavia Spencer’s role as Wanda, Oscar’s mother. Spencer is best known for her role in The Help, in which she won an Oscar, and also shined in Hidden Figures and The Shape of Water, both Oscar nominees. While her role isn’t as well-known here, she still delivers.
The film doesn’t take long to watch, it’s only about 85 minutes long, and can easily be found on Netflix. It makes the most out of all 85 minutes as well.
This was the takeoff film for Ryan Coogler and he’s obviously found great success since then. If you haven’t watched this, please do. It’s an empowering story and it opens your eyes on a big issue in today’s society.