Why You Need to Watch “Fruitvale Station.”

When you read the newspaper, watch the news or check social media and you see another African American shot and killed by another police officer we see riots, protests social media debates and most importantly lousy reporting by journalists.

This film needs to be seen by everyone who is involved with The Black Lives Matter movement or anyone who is against police brutality. In fact, if you are one of those people who support what our law enforcement stands for then go and watch this film right now because this movie will show you the other side of the spectrum because you will understand why police brutality needs to be correctly served its own justice; once and for all.  Fruitvale Station, mark my words is going to be a very culturally significant film and should represent the main issues of police brutality against all citizens in our country.

Before I get started, I just would like to point out that the directorial work of Ryan Coogler is absolutely astounding. If you enjoyed the movie Creed, then you will most certainly enjoy Fruitvale Station. Ryan Coogler is on pace towards being one of the great filmmakers of our generation.
The logline states:

“This dramatic rendering of real-life tragedy recounts the final hours of Oscar Grant, shot by San Francisco transit police on New Year’s Day, 2009.”

Based on a true story, the film opens up with cell phone footage of the incident where Oscar Grant was wrongfully shot at Fruitvale Station in the Bay Area. Immediately you are hooked to the film, walking tall in the shoes of Oscar Grant. Then we are taken to the beginning of the day where the story unfolds to the all of the events leading up to his death.

The director, Ryan Coogler said, “ I wanted the audience to get to know this guy, to get attached so that when the situation that happens to him happens, it’s not just like you read it in the paper, you know what I mean? When you know somebody as a human being, you know that life means something.”  That is precisely what this film does. We see Oscar Grant for who he is, a human being. Michael B. Jordan’s performance as Grant is tearfully breathtaking. Through many series of vignettes throughout his final hours, we see that Oscar Grant is a good person who is trying to do right in the world despite his past. He loves his mother, his daughter, his sister, his girlfriend, and doesn’t want to disappoint them anymore. He quits selling drugs and begs for his real job back. He tries saving a dog’s life and helps a woman how to figure out fish frying.

Journalists do not do this for victims. They don’t get you to empathize with the person who got shot. They don’t report on detail about who the person was and what they personally meant to the world. No, they write what will sell them more advertising in the papers or online. Journalists need to do these victims justice. That is all I have to say about that.

This film brings Oscar Grant justice.

All lives mean something.

Police officers have mace, tasers, and handcuffs. Why do we need to resort to shooting people when there are other alternatives to detaining people? Violence is never the answer.

Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler will be the next actor-director one-two punch duo of our generation. I have a strong hunch that they will be in the ranks of De Niro-Scorcese, Cooper- O. Russell and Jackson- Tarantino.

This film reaches out and grabs you to the point where you feel like you are walking in the shoes of Oscar Grant. During the climatic point of the film where he gets shot, you are released from his experience/point of view, and suddenly you are put back into your own shoes experiencing the tragedy from an innocent bystander point of view.

All though Chad Michael Murray had a small role in the film as the BART police officer who shot Oscar Grant, he did a fantastic job with the very little screen time that he had because he portrayed how poorly some police officers are trained in our country. The real-life account of the actual police officer claimed to have “mistaken” his gun for his taser in court. Bull shit. He told the jury that he thought his gun was a taser? Seriously? This police officer only served an 11-month sentence for involuntary manslaughter. That is not the type of justice that victims like Oscar Grant deserve.

This is a compelling film made by an exceptional filmmaker and is the reason why the medium of art will always be so powerful. Watch this film and comment below, letting me know what you think.


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

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