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"Every step brings you closer to the edge"

In 2008, Oscar Grant was a young African American man living in Oakland, CA. On New Year’s Eve he went to San Francisco with his girlfriend and some friends to bring in the new year. On the advice of his mother he took BART (the public transit system) to avoid drinking and driving. Fruitvale Station is based on a true story. The movie opens with cell phone videos shot by people on a train standing at the Fruitvale BART stop where Oscar and his friends were being detained by BART police for a fight that broke out on the train. The videos show the police had Oscar face down on the ground when one of the white police officers took out his gun and shot him in the back. He died the next morning. In the days following the shooting there were riots and protests throughout the Oakland area. The police officer that shot Oscar was charged with murder. His defense was that he thought he had pulled out his taser. He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.

Through this film producer and director Ryan Googler sheds light on who Oscar Grant was before he became a symbol of racial injustice in the U.S. The movie takes place over the course of two days, December 31, 2008 and January 1, 2009, with some flashbacks thrown in for context. Over the course of these two days we come to know Oscar through his family, his struggles, and his joys and also bear witness to his death along with the hundreds of people at Fruitvale Station that day.

Googler does not simply tell the story of Oscar’s life and leave it at that. At this point who Oscar Grant was cannot be separated from the symbol he has become.

| 2013 | 1 hr 24 min | 7.5/10 | 85/100
Ryan Coogler

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