A large, invite-only crowd gathered at the Grand Lake Theater to join the premiere of ‘Fruitvale Station’, a Ryan Coogler movie based on the shooting of Oscar Grant, on June 20. The official opening of the movie is on July 12.
The premiere became a gathering of newspaper and TV crews, Hollywood celebrities, community members, and local justice activists. The place, Art Deco Theater, was fitting in all sense because it is the soul of Oakland, the shooting place of the movie, and Grant’s working place. Moreover, Coogler, the director of movie, grew up in this place.
It can be said that a lot of emotions of the Oakland locals are attached to the movie. After Grant was murdered by Johannes Mehserle – a BART police officer – on 2009 New Year’s Day, local residents were actively involved in protests and rallies demanding justice to the killer. On several occasions, their protests turned into clashes with police and riot-like situations.
The movie focuses equally on both Oakland and Oscar Grant. The locals can relate themselves to the movie due to the familiarity of the setting and the story. However, the story of Grant is a universal one too.
Michael B. Jordan depicted the character of Grant – a common young black man, struggling to cope with fatherhood, personal responsibility, and the problems of his past.
The movie captures the events related to the last day of Grant’s life, dashing inexorably toward the deadly episode. The movie will actually leave the viewers to think about some deeper social issues than just the shooting of a black man.
Jordan showed his skill as an actor in the movie. He was suitable enough to depict the character of Grant and he actually made it easy for the viewers to sympathize with the victim. In fact, the story becomes more poignant as the audiences know beforehand about the tragic end.