24 January 2013 10:40 AM, PST | Movies.com | See recent Movies.com news »

The silver lining around every senseless tragedy is that eventually, someone will make a Sundance movie about it. Audiences will cry. They will express righteous indignation over the injustice. The best of these films shed light on larger societal issues and help bring about change; the worst of them are just sadness porn. Two films in this year's lineup, Valentine Road and Fruitvale (both at the better end of the spectrum), demonstrate the different ways of tackling real-life tragedies. Valentine Road is about the February 2008 murder of a gay, biracial eighth grader by a classmate who shot him in the head during school. Fruitvale is about the New Year's Eve 2008 shooting of an unarmed 22-year-old black man by an Oakland transit cop. Both incidents took place in...

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- Eric D. Snider

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