Commentary • Pendarvis Harshaw
OAKLAND, Calif. — The crowd let out a monstrous applause just before the private screening of Fruitvale Station began inside Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre. The majority of the audience then turned away from the screen, toward the back left corner of the room to honor Oscar Grant’s mother. I saw her acknowledge the crowd with a wave of her hand.
The movie opens with the footage of Oscar Grant III being shot in his back at pointblank range by a BART transit officer on New Year’s Day 2009 on the platform at Fruitvale Station.
The movie then backtracks, to tell the story of the 24 hours that lead up to Grant’s death: a turbulent series of events that depict Oscar as a father, a friend, an unemployed weed-smoking ex-convict, and a son who obeyed his mother’s wish that he take the train instead of driving on that fateful evening.
Watching the movie, Fruitvale Station, in Oakland– it was like something out of a movie.
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