Fruitvale Station is harrowing to watch, but its intensity is deeply rewarding for anyone who wants to learn more -- not only about the social injustices that continue to plague this country, but also about something that tragedy has always taught us best: the essential nobility of the human soul.
As if our hearts weren't already broken, along comes Fruitvale Station, the story of a young African-American man and the tragedy that befell him on a Bay Area subway platform when events came together in a cursed rush in the early hours of New Year's Day 2009.
I saw Fruitvale Station and left thinking about the night a friend and I were pulled over by police officers. We were making a U-Turn to park just a block away from a cabaret we were attending in northeast Washington, D.C.
Helmed by first-time director Ryan Coogler and produced by Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer (who makes a brief but powerful appearance in the film as Grant's mother), the film puts as much focus on the fatal shooting as it does on what preceded it.
There's always a film at the festival pretty much everyone agrees is worth it. This year it's Fruitvale. And the question that's really on your mind, presuming you haven't seen it already, I'll just answer straight out. Yes, it's that good.
$1.6 billion of interest, excessive fees, and other exorbitant costs are being charged to poor people every single day, making it almost physically and fiscally impossible for individuals to exit the poverty cycle.
The judge presiding over the Oscar Grant murder trial expressed "great concern" about how inaccurate media coverage of the trial is affecting community sentiment in Oakland, where Grant's shooting took place.
Just because there are no cameras in the courtroom doesn't mean I want this trial to go quietly. The public needs to pay attention to the case. An incident like this can easily happen anywhere, not just Oakland.
Sgt. Eugene Wong testified that Mehserle didn't follow proper police procedure. Wong is a BART Police defensive tactics instructor who trains officers to safely detain, search and arrest suspects while maintaining control.
I'm sitting in the courtroom where Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer facing a murder charge for the shooting death of 22-year old Oscar Grant III, is wearing a gray suit, brown shoes, and yellow tie. He sits devoid of emotion.