Blacks, whites and a real-life tragedy

Blacks, whites and a real-life tragedy
Fruitvale Station starring Octavia Spencer.

UNITED STATES - Fritvale Station (M18)

85 minutes/Opens on Thursday/Rating: 3.5/5

The story: It is New Year's Eve 2008. Ex-convict Oscar (Michael B.Jordan) wants to get his life back on track, for his daughter and Sophina (Melonie Diaz), his girlfriend and mother of his child. Proof of how serious he is about this: He dumps drugs which he could have sold for a profit, and he tries to get back his job at a supermarket, which he lost through absenteeism.

Riding the train to San Francisco for New Year countdown celebrations with friends, he gets into trouble with an enemy from jail and then with the transit police, one of whom shoots him. Based on a real story.

Andy Chen

This film's blah title, which is the name of a station in California's Bay Area Rapid Transit network, is likely chosen because it is non-incendiary.

Despite the film-makers' best intentions, there is no avoiding the film's controversial based-ontrue- events story of a white transit cop shooting and killing an unarmed African-American man.

The title also serves another purpose: It anchors Oscar's story in a real community - where he and his family and friends lived, where he took his daughter Tatiana to and from school, where he engaged in petty crime and probably got jailed for it.

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