Image from: Fruitvale Station (2013)

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Reviewed by j_haseltine GB / Joined j_haseltine 2015
Fruitvale Station
Fruitvale Station
Fruitvale Station
USA, 2013, 85 minutes, SD US Indie
Ryan Coogler's harrowing portrayal of Oscar Grant's untimely demise utilises innocence as its point of focus.

The disquieting source material, shown in the opening moments, preserves an unshakable nervousness as Coogler opts for archival camera phone footage of the fateful scene on December 31, 2009. This moment distills an unbearable atmosphere in the remainder of the film as we follow Grant, played by Michael B. Jordan, on an ordinary day.

Fruitvale Station paints a disconcertingly current image of racial stigma in the US and in this Coogler has crafted the greatest achievement. With solid performances across the board Coogler wastes no time establishing a sympathetic image of Grant through day-to-day interactions with family and friends. While necessary to his cause Coogler misses a beat with this unnuanced approach that produces an overly sympathetic innocence which hits suitably hard but leaves too many questions.
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