Fruitvale Station gives Oscar Grant his humanity back and reminds us of our own humanity
Last week, we received an invitation to view Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station which features actors: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz. As I took my seat in the screening room, nothing could have prepared me for roller-coaster of emotions experienced from the film's commencement to its climaxing ending. Fruitvale Station recounts the true life tale of 22-year old father, son and boyfriend, Oscar Grant who was shot by the BART police on January 1st, 2009 at Fruitvale Station - on his way home with friends after celebrating the new year in San Francisco. The film follows Oscar's last 24 hours on earth on December 31st 2008, and records his interaction with friends, family - mainly the relationship between himself, his mother and his daughter - the most 3 important people in his life.
The real-life cellphone footage the incident introduces Oscar's story and immediately shocks the viewer into the gravity and reality of the events that unfold. The unexpected cold-bloodedness and inhumanness attack on Oscar Grant is chilling and unsettling. The scene evoked feelings of anxiety which fiercely refused to be tamed and seem to involuntarily increase as the intensity and suspense leading to what we know to be Oscar Grant's fate neared. As each framed rolled unto the screen before me, my anxiety heightened, leaving me to desperately deluding myself into wishing for a different outcome.
With 98% of the film being factual, the film accomplishes its aim of giving Oscar Grant his humanity back as it portrays him as a full human, exposing his goodness and flaws. Ryan Coogler shows his brilliance by seeing that Oscar's story is told from his perspective - giving him control up until that control is taken away from him. This cinematographic technique, enables the viewer to further connect profoundly to Oscar Grant and his humanity.
It is this humanity that saw many of the individuals in attendance weep, including myself - uncontrollably. In the giving and acknowledgement of Oscar Grant's humanity, the audience is reminded of their own humanity and the fragility and preciousness of human life.
Fruitvale Station is an award winning-film that must be seen! The film debuts in cinemas June 6th, 2014 and is only showing at selected cinemas:
Broadway Nottingham Cameo Edinburgh Cineworld Enfield, London Cineworld Glasgow Renfrew St Cineworld Haymarket Cineworld Sheffield Cornerhouse Manchester Curzon Soho, London Duke Of York's Brighton Empire Leicester Square, London Glasgow Film Theatre IFI Dublin LEXI Cinema, London Light House Dublin Liverpool FACT Odeon Birmingham Broadway Plaza Odeon Covent Garden, London Odeon Edmonton, London Odeon Greenwich, London Odeon Holloway, London Odeon Manchester Filmworks Odeon Streatham, London Odeon Swiss Cottage, London Odeon Wimbledon, London Peckhamplex Peckham, London Phoenix Oxford Picturehouse Hackney, London Picturehouse Stratford East, London Ritzy Brixton, London Showcase Bluewater Showcase Dudley Showcase Newham, London The Aubin Cinema , London Vue Finchley Rd, London Vue Islington, London Vue Shepherds Bush, London Vue Westfield Stratford, London Watershed Bristol