Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his carefully cultivated existence.
A mysterious outsider's quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.
This is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother, whose birthday falls on New Year's Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend, who he hasn't been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to T, their beautiful 4 year old daughter. He starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easy. He crosses paths with friends, family, and strangers, each exchange showing us that there is much more to Oscar than meets the eye. But it would be his final encounter of the day, with police officers at the Fruitvale BART station that would shake the Bay Area to its very core, and cause the entire nation to be witnesses to the story of Oscar Grant. Written by
The Weinstein Company
Senseless tragedy turns into cautionary tale on humanity.
Fruitvale Station tells the tragic true story of Oscar Grant, played by Michael B. Jordan (Friday Night Lights, The Wire, Chronicle) in a star- making performance. Grant is a 22-year-old African American man who was shot to death by a police officer while being detained at an Oakland subway station.
Fruitvale Station takes you through a day in the life of Oscar Grant leading up to the incident. Oscar was a loving father and a devoted son, but the film doesn't portray him as a saint. Grant was also an ex- con who was trying to stop dealing drugs and get a real job in order to support his family, but the film doesn't portray him as a thug either.
He was man who was trying to get back on his feet. The jury was still out on what kind of man Oscar Grant would become. Unfortunately, a trigger happy white cop ended any chance of Oscar Grant living any life at all.
A life that was just getting started was cut short by a police officer that couldn't see past the color of Grant's skin, or the baggy pants, or the hooded sweatshirt. He couldn't see past the tattoos and the way Oscar talked. He saw a black man hanging out with a bunch of other black men and automatically assumed they were up to no good. He never once thought that this is a person with a family. A man with dreams and hopes for the future.
We may never know what compelled that officer to shoot Grant in the back while he was being held down by other officers. In the end, it doesn't matter. You can't take back the bullet and you can't bring Grant back to life. But his memory can still live on and his story can be a cautionary tale about race relations in this country and tolerance for people who might be different from yourself.
Fruitvale Station was written and directed by Ryan Coogler. This is Coogler's first feature length film and he packs it full of life and energy. Station feels authentic in its setting and the interactions among the characters. The environment they live in feels dangerous, but full of life all at the same time. Sirens can often be heard on the soundtrack. Like a faint warning sign of what's to come. To the characters, it's just part of their life. They've grown up with the constant whining of sirens their whole lives.
The events at Fruitvale Station were a senseless tragedy that could have been avoided. Many people want to pretend that racism is gone in this country. Like it disappeared over night. The fact is that it's still here and we have a long way to go until things truly do change. Incidents like this only add fuel to the fire.
In the end, Fruitvale Station isn't trying to make Oscar Grant out to be some kind of martyr on the war on racism. It's simply trying to bring to people's attention a young man with his whole life ahead of him. A life that was taken from him and his family over the fatally poor choice of another man.
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