New Film Seeks to Humanize Homicide Victim Oscar Grant
The slaying of young black men has sadly become a common occurrence in our society. Far too often there are black men in the news because the hands of a man holding a gun have taken their lives away. One homicide that acquired national notoriety was the death of Oscar Grant, a young Bay Area resident that was shot in his back while handcuffed by the local BART police unit. The officer claimed that he was attempting to use his stun gun on Grant but accidentally drew and fired his sidearm. There was an outcry for justice, which was met with the officer being sentenced to two years in prison, but receiving an early release shortly after his conviction.
A young first time director named Ryan Coogler has brought this shocking story to the big screen in his film “Fruitvale”. Grant is played by Micheal B. Jordan and has received high accolades for his role. The film is meant to be a way to humanize these horrific slayings by showing the day of Oscar Grant’s life that led up to his death. It’s amazing how something can have a much larger impact when we feel more connected to an individual that a tragedy has fallen on.
The film is being distributed by the Weinstein Co., a powerhouse film distributor, which was the distributor for Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” film last year. A company that is willing to invest in black filmmakers is definitely a great thing to see and I believe it will lead to more boundaries of the industry being knocked down.