I don’t remember hearing about Oscar Grant III, the young black man who was fatally shot by a transit officer in a BART station on New Year’s Day 2009. A story such as this is hard to forget.
I saw a sneak preview of the film Fruitvale Station last night. The film chronicles Oscar’s final day on Earth. It is almost completely based on the true story, as the writer and director was in attendance at the screening and told us that just a few scenes were dramatized. In writing the script, he combed through all of the court documents from the transit officer’s trial and interviewed Oscar’s family.
It’s a beautiful, shocking, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking film. I left the theater feeling shell-shocked and exhausted from holding back sobs throughout the film. Not only is the story itself gripping, but the acting was superb. I had never seen Michael B. Jordan in anything before. Wow. And I think I could be riveted by watching Octavia Spencer watching paint dry.
I hope this film enjoys a wide release and opens up conversations about how we as a society can work toward lowering the number of Oscar Grants, Trayvon Martins, and Sean Bells in this country.