Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have a devastating effect on your life. This was the tragic reality for one young man, Oscar Grant, whose true story was portrayed in the multiple Independent Spirit Award, Cannes and Sundance Film Festival winning movie, ‘Fruitvale Station.’
Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, produced by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi, and with Grant being played so superbly by Michael B Jordan, its power knocks you sideways. It’s chilling to know that Oscar’s life was stubbed out so easily after only 22 years. He clearly wanted to do the right thing, change his ways and walk a steady straight path, but instead his life was cut so short for no reason by a stupid, careless act that seemed to be fuelled by a poisonous concoction of power and racial discrimination shown alot when some officers are dealing with young black men (who are unarmed). If these guys had been white I am sure they would have been treated differently. Plus it was clear to see that the police were not concerned with the group of white men who started the fight, no, they got away with their lives spared, with their loved ones not having to deal with the tragic loss of a son, father, boyfriend, brother, friend, uncle. Despite his mothers care, her son ended up another statistic in the ‘Killed By The Police’ encyclopaedia and created fresh ‘No Justice No Peace’ chants from protesters.
One positive to come from this was that the cop actually got prosecuted and served time. I would imagine that if it weren’t for technology and the culture to video everything the cop would have walked. His 2-year sentence was absurd, and early release after 11 month must have felt like a hot poker in the hearts of his family.
I’m unsure how rare or common police prosecutions are in the US, but in the UK it’s not happened in the past and I see no hope of that changing in the near future. Too many men have suffered brutally at the hands of the police. Now Coogler’s significant and stylish portrayal of the events over those two days, New Years Eve 2008, New Years Day 2009, have captivated the film industry and in doing so will shine a gigantic spotlight on these issues. We can only pray that change comes from Coogler’s debut offering.
“Kush Films thanks for creating a wider platform so stories such as Fruitvale Station get seen”
“Being in the wrong place at the wrong time can have a devastating effect on your life.”
“Fruitvale Station. Such a powerful story. Only 11 months for a life of a young father trying to walk the straight line. No justice.”
@fruitvalemovie @DivaGotSoul @Kush_Online
Independent Online Interview with Director Ryan Coogler.
Footage from witness videos