Fruitvale Station is a thoughtfully written and beautifully acted film that shares the tragic story of Oscar Grant, a 22 year old victim of police brutality. This award-winning film boasts a cast of heavy hitters including Michael B. Jordan (The Wire), Kevin Durand (3:10 to Yuma) and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. The film chronicles the day before the tragic Fruitvale Station encounter that occurred New Year’s Eve 2008. This is a true story that did not get a lot of national press even though the actual event was captured by a number of bystanders and posted on the web.
The raw honesty of Oscar’s character allows for the audience to understand the man behind the encounter. Director Ryan Coogler did an impressive job giving depth to the characters and showing the complicated relationships that they had with one another. Actor Michael B. Jordan had an outstanding performance as Oscar Grant. The tragic encounter and repercussions are hard to digest but this is an important story that needed to be told. This film gives a voice to victims of police brutality that typically become fleetingly famous through tragedy. Perhaps this film can begin the very necessary conversation about how we need to change societally.