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Review: Fruitvale Station

On January 1, 2009, a young African-American male named Oscar Grant was fatally shot by a police officer named Johannes Mersehle at the Fruitvale Train Station near San Francisco. He was not armed. At the same time, his story is one of many, too many. But individualism sells, and thus, for a Western audience, Oscar’s story will appeal more than something broader and more explicitly political. This is a right shame, itself predicated on the violence of individualism that denies the communal stories behind Grant’s tragedy, ironic considering this film’s assumed challenge to Western racism. But all of this aside, Fruitvale Station exists in this format, and in this format, Grant’s story is America’s, or minority America’s. And Ryan Coogler is here to share. Continue reading