He’s Only Human

Think Reel

fruitvale 4Fruitvale Station, directed and written by Ryan Coogler, dramatizes the true story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant III, who was fatally shot in the back by a white police officer, Johannes Mehserle, at the eponymous BART station in Oakland, California on New Year’s Day 2009. The film opens up with actual cell phone footage caught by one of the many bystanders inside the train witnessing the mounting tension and heated commotion occurring on the railway platform between unarmed New Years revelers just trying to get home, and hotheaded cops roughing them up for no good reason just before Oscar is shot in the back. Coogler makes no illusions about how the film will end. Knowing the harrowing and inevitable outcome from the onset sets an awful sense of dread deep in the pit of our stomach. We know death awaits a young man’s life; a young man who woke up one…

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