Fruitvale Station’s Impact Remains Strong 5 Years Later

Today is the fifth anniversary of the official release date of the critically-acclaimed Ryan Coogler‘s debut film.

Fruitvale Station was the first film written and directed by the since-revealed wunderkind. The movie told the story of Oscar Grant and follows his life up until the moment he was legally murdered by Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserie. The names of the officers involved in his death were changed in the film.

Starring Michael B. Jordan in what was his breakout role, along with Kevin Durand and Chad Murray playing the two BART officers and Octavia Spencer playing Wanda (Oscar Grant’s mother), the film opens with Grant seemingly righting himself in the winds of life as he prepares to sail away from his past and into a future of hope and redemption.

Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan Wins Breakthrough Actor Award

Talented actor Michael B. Jordan has garnered accolades for roles on such hit television shows as The Wire and Friday Night Lights. But his stellar performance in the critically acclaimed offering Fruitvale Station has earned him the Breakthrough Actor Award at last night’s Gotham Awards.

The film’s heartbreaking zenith begins as Grant and his girlfriend are travelling on the train to San Francisco to see fireworks.  According to the story, they would have driven if not for his mother’s concern that driving was problematic for a number of reasons.

Fruitvale Station – Official Trailer | HD

Official Full-HD-Trailer for Fruitvale Station If you love trailers, you better subscribe!

Oftentimes, when in urban environments and trying to make a transition to living as peaceful a life as possible, the chronically institutionalized and disenfranchized act as carcinogenic to the overall body health of the hood. It’s like they’re literally attracted to individuals who’re moving away from street life and are simultaneously outraged by them.

While on rapid transit, Grant is greeted by an individual who recognizes him from his former grocery store job. As he responds, another individual also recognizes him, but as a former inmate who he served time with.

The meeting becomes volatile and a fight breaks out. BART police respond to the scene and attempt to arrest Grant and several other passengers.  

The Shadow League Backstage: A Discussion with Director Ryan Coogler

By now you have already heard what an overwhelming success Creed has been. The new, hip addition to the Rocky franchise stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Phylicia Rashad and Tessa Thompson, but the mind that brought this highly celebrated cinematic offering to fruition is director Ryan Coogler.

Grant is laying face down, hands cuffed behind his back on the ground, when he is shot through the back by officer Ingram.

He was rushed to the hospital where he died during surgery.  In the aftermath, officers Caruso and Ingram and fired, and Ingram is later tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. 

This was one of the first incidents in which the cellphone camera’s potential as a weapon against police brutality is was fully realized. On the tragic day as Grant’s death, it was digitized and posted online within hours of the incident.

Fruitvale Station Will Remind You of Trayvon Martin And The Victims…

Amidst all of the uproar following the acquittal George Zimmerman that is fresh in our minds, the release of Fruitvale Station last week – favorably reviewed by the NY Times and SF Chronicle – is a fitting reminder of how shaky race relations can rear its ugly head.

The officer claimed he mistook his gun for his taser and served an 11-month sentence.

The 2009 incident predates the death of Trayvon Martin by three years and was the gateway toward activism and resistance of repressive institutions and agencies of the federal, state and local government apparatus legions of individuals looking to change their world. 

Fruitvale Station was executive produced by Forest Whitaker and garnered multiple awards. 

It illustrated the humanity of Grant juxtaposed against the inhumane manner in which black life is devalued and disenfranchized in the face of institutional callousness and apathy.

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