Tag Archives: Fruitvale Station

‘Fruitvale’ paints portrait of a life derailed

By Lorena Alvarez
Tustin, Calif.

In the wake of the George Zimmerman trial and the struggle to find justice for Trayvon Martin, Ryan Coogler’s award-winning indie film “Fruitvale Station” comes at just the right time to advance the conversation about race relations in America. Continue reading

Defying stereotypes, brilliant ‘Fruitvale Station’ brings characters to life

By Imani Ford
Chicago, Ill.

As he picks up a blunt and takes a long drag, Oscar turns to his girlfriend Sophina and says, “I want you and Ti-Ti forever.” Twenty-two year old Oscar Grant, the focus of the critically acclaimed Sundance winner “Fruitvale Station,” is not perfect—far from it. In one of the first scenes, for instance, we find out—even as he professes his love for both Sophina and his daughter Ti-Ti—that Oscar has cheated.

This initially negative portrayal of Oscar, played by Michael B. Jordan, may alarm certain audience members; within the first 10 minutes, the film begins to paint another stereotypical caricature of African-American communities. But while certain characteristics of Oscar fit the stereotype, far more defy common expectations—allowing viewers to see him as a real person and to realize that the injustice he eventually suffers could happen to anyone. It’s just one of the many ways in which this brilliant film excels. Continue reading

Director’s debut tells heart-wrenching story of shooting victim’s last 24 hours

By Allyson Chavez
New York, N.Y.

A director who refuses to paint his main character as a Christ figure actually depicts that character as something much more important: a complicated, real human being. In other words, someone who is not at all a stereotype.

That certainly isn’t true for the rest of the characters in director Ryan Coogler’s “Fruitvale Station”—a true story about a man named Oscar Grant (played by Michael B. Jordan) who is unjustly killed by police in Oakland. Continue reading