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Fruitvale Station - Film Review

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Published October 29th 2013
The value of a life less lived

A series of snapshots of real footage introduces us to the bleak and thought-provoking movie Fruitvale Station. A dramatisation of real events, this movie takes us on a journey of the last day in the life of Oscar Grant III, who was killed on New Year's Day in 2009.

Life has always been difficult for Grant. He grew up in an area where opportunities were few and bad influences were many. Getting caught up with the wrong crowd, he became a drug dealer which led him to doing stints in jail.

Waking up on New Year's Eve 2012, Grant decides he is going to change many things in his life. He is going to make better decisions and be a more helpful and responsible son, a more loyal and loving partner to Sophia and father to his daughter Tatiana.

The audience is immersed into Grant's world as we follow him during the day and see him catch up with friends, celebrate with family and cross paths with strangers. We watch as he abandons drug dealing and tries to get his supermarket job back to support his family. The audience cannot help but to become empathetic to the plight of Grant's charming character.

Heading out to celebrate New Year's Eve with Sophia and a group of friends, the party atmosphere turns to horror as Grant becomes involved a brawl and is noticed by some Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Officers. Dragged off the train by the officers, Grant is lethally wounded by a gun shot.

Many of the audience that have been so enthralled in the turmoil that is Grant's life, will be weeping with both sorrow and anger. Feeling the pain of the loss of a wasted life the audience cannot help but question the deadly sequence of events that led to this situation and whether any of it could have been avoided in the first place.

Powerfully acted by Michael B Jordan, Melonie Diaz and Octavia Spencer, this movie is a must see.

Produced by Forest Whittaker, Fruitvale Station won the Grand Jury Prize Audience Award for US Dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and the Best First Film in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

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When: Now showing
Where: In selected cinemas
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