A Discussion on Fruitvale Station

Every once in a while I will come across a movie that really makes an impact on me: a movie that will stick in my head for a very long time (which is quite significant considering all I do is watch movies and eat mochi ice-cream), for whatever reason. A couple weeks ago, my boyfriend, aka my movie buddy, and I watched the film “Fruitvale Station”, which has become one of those movies for me.

For those of you that don’t know, the film is based on the true story of Oscar Grant, a loving father, boyfriend, and son, who resided in Oakland, California. The film follows his day, which starts on New Year’s Eve 2008 but then takes a terrible turn on New Year’s Day, when he is shot and killed by a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) officer at Fruitvale Station.

One of the main aspects that made this movie stand out was that although it tells a story of social inequality, it centers and focuses on Oscar’s personal life instead of politics and oppression. Yes, the scene of his death was felt acutely, but not so much because it was caused by white men rather than because the film did a great job of invoking the viewer in Oscar’s life. You knew that his death was coming but it created a sense of hope so that you were left in shock once it happens.

 I don’t think there’s a better way to describe this movie than to just call it honest. It was made in 2013 but discusses issues that are still relevant in today’s society. Lately there have been many stories about social inequality in the spotlight of the media and I think that this film gives a new, refreshing view on the issues by focusing on the individuals and putting real faces to the victims of said attacks. By learning about Oscar (and people in similar situations) and by becoming so emotionally attached to him in the film, the gravity of the whole situation is felt to a bigger extent.

“Fruitvale Station” brought warmth and lightness to a topic that can get pretty dark. It did a really good job in showing the joy that can come from the little things in life, and the importance in celebrating them.

Text: Valerie
Visuals: Tumblr
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